Wits University Football Club have made a sensational return to the semi-professional ranks in order to keep alive the historic name and heritage of the 99-year-old side.
Wits’ outgoing vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib along with incoming VC Prof Zeblon Vilakazi confirmed on Monday afternoon that Wits University FC will compete in the 2020/21 Gauteng ABC Motsepe League.
There was, however, no confirmation where they bought their third-tier league status, but it could possibly be from Baberwa, who confirmed selling their status recently.
The club was called Bidvest Wits for sponsorship reasons until Bidvest Group sold the premiership status of the club to Limpopo businessman Masala Mulaudzi, owner Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) to bring to an end to a 15-year partnership.
The sale threatened to plunge the oldest football club in the country into total obscurity, but it seems like the university has found a way to keep the rich name of the football club alive and enroll it in the semi-professional ranks.
“I am aware that many people have been really disappointed that we have had to sell the Bidvest Wits status in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but I do want to tell you that the football club has always existed since 1921 and it has always been a part of its university,” said Prof Habib.
“Bidvest was with us for about 15 years, but the football club has been with us throughout this period. We have a history that goes back 80, 90, 95 years, it has always been there, more importantly, we have won cups, we have won the PSL trophy.
“And we need to continue existing as a viable part of the university life,” added Prof Habib.
Meanwhile, a confident Prof Vilakazi made it clear that Wits University FC will make a return to the top-flight.
“I will ensure that the university football club will continue to thrive and reach the Premier Soccer League and continue on the legacy of winning highly competitive football championships against the best in the country and the continent,” he said.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi