SAFA EC: Pondo Chiefs was our hope

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SAFA Eastern Cape is disheartened by the relegation of Bizana Pondo Chiefs from GladAfrica Championship.

The provincial football mother body revealed to FARPost that they did all they could, to help and prepare the team for the GladAfrica Championship challenges.

SAFA deputy president in the province Andile Ngconjana told FARPost that the issue of not having a home ground advantage, jeopardized Pondo Chiefs strides to make it in professional football.

“We are not happy with the relegation of Bizana Pondo Chiefs, because they were our hope in representing Eastern Cape in the professional ranks,” he said.

“Their relegation is sad to us but we’ll not give up, we did all we could to assist them. Their biggest challenge was the lack of facilities in our area.

“That’s a huge challenge, because in football there is home ground advantage and it helps a lot, so Pondo Chiefs were always playing away all the time.

“You cannot continue like that, there’ll be a lot of challenges if you don’t have your own home base,” explained Ngconjana.

With two teams from Bizana (Spears of the Nation and Sinenkani FC) being contenders to win the ABC Motsepe Eastern Cape League, it remains to be seen if they will also struggle for home ground should they make it to the GladAfrica Championship.

Ngconjana is adamant that Mtata Stadium which was recommended by provincial government could come in handy for either of the teams, if they make it to professional football.

“The provincial government has been working on Mtata Stadium to host any team from Alfred Nzo.

“Mtata is much better than Durban, though it’s outside of Alfred Nzo region. The main aim now is to get a Stadium in Alfred Nzo District to accommodate their teams.

“The region has proven that football is part of our DNA, so it’s imperative that we get our own Stadium,” added Ngconjana.

By Wonga Sirayi

FARPost’s KZN Reporter

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