08/11/2011 5:04 AM
- City Press Sports Editor Sibusiso Mseleku believes that David Thidiela, chairman of the newly-promoted Black Leopards FC deserves accolades for practically taking football to the masses.
Mseleku also mentions that Free State Stars chairman Mr. Mike Mokoena
also deserves the same accolades.
Read the full article below:
MOKOENA, THIDIELA DESERVE PRAISE
S’BUSISO MSELEKU – CITY PRESS SPORTS EDITOR
Mike Mokoena and David Thidiela – owners of PSL sides Free State Stars and Black Leopards – deserve some accolades.
So too should the Royal Bafokeng who own Platinum Stars.
These three clubs give some semblance to the PSL being a “national” league.
Otherwise, it would be an elite league which is a reservoir for clubs from South Africa’s big cities.
Johannesburg currently has five clubs in Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows, Bidvest Wits and Jomo Cosmos in the 16-team league.
No wonder Gauteng prides itself on being “the home of champions”.
Durban, Cape Town and Tshwane boast two each in AmaZulu and Lamontville Golden Arrows, Ajax Cape Town and Santos as well as Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.
Bloemfontein has Celtic as its sole representatives as does Pietermaritzburg.
Without Ea lla Koto, Lidoda Duvha and Dikwena, the PSL would only be concentrated in big cities.
It is these three clubs that ensure that the communities they are based in, are able to watch big guns like Chiefs and Pirates in their backyard at least once every season.
Otherwise, why would Pirates or Chiefs go and play in far-flung places such as Bethlehem, Thohoyandou or Rustenburg if they were not forced to honour a home fixture at these clubs?
Mokoena and Thidiela have persevered through thick and thin to keep their clubs afloat while ensuring employment for local players and their community members.
Business booms in these sleepy towns whenever big soccer comes by.
The fans even get a two-second’s chance to see themselves on national television when the camera pans through the crowd during televised matches.
These clubs deserve all the support they can garner from the locals as well as local authorities.
Big up to MTN and Bonitas, the two sponsors who have stuck with the two clubs right through.
If it was not for them, they would not have been able to stage the glittering functions they hosted this week where Leopards were welcomed back to the elite league while FS Stars honoured their players.
It’s now down to business as the league kicks off on Friday and the two clubs will once more provide entertainment in their areas.
Our country and football needs men such as Mokoena and Thidiela as well as companies like MTN and Bonitas.