High rental rates in Thohoyandou force clubs to reconsider home venues

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The Thohoyandou Stadium might find themselves not hosting any professional football match this season.

This comes as local clubs have cried foul over the high rental rates to use the stadium for their home matches.

The Vhembe district now have three teams in the GladAfrica Championship in Black Leopards, Venda Football Academy (VFA) and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM), who recently returned to the football scenes after buying the status of Royal AM.

But this publication has been reliably informed that the clubs are considering moving their home matches elsewhere due to the high ground rental charges by the Thulamela municipality.

According to information at our disposal, the Thulamela Municipality charges clubs around R30 000 and R50 000 for GAC and DStv premiership matches, respectively.

As it stands Leopards have already forfeited their home advantage and have opted to play their first home match of the season against Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, which is the home venue for City.

The new Vhembe Derby between VFA and TTM is also expected to be moved to the same venue next week should a solution not be found between the clubs and their municipality. It costs clubs R5 000 to host a match at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

When contacted, the clubs confirmed that they were still locked in negotiations with the Municipality in order to find common ground.

“We are still in discussions with the Municipality and we are positive that we will find each other,” said VFA Chairman Itani Munzhelele.

Leopards have also confirmed that they are having talks with the Municipality on the way forward.

“In the meantime, we have no choice but to find an alternative venue to play at,” explained the club communications manager, Divhambele Mbalavhali.

This publication reached out to Thulamela Municipality manager of sports Ronald Makhadi for a comment without success.

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By Ofhani Munyai