Orlando Pirates will attempt to delay Mamelodi Sundowns’ coronation as Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions when they host Bidvest Wits at an empty Orlando Stadium for a behind-closed-doors showdown on Wednesday.
Milutin Sredojevic and his men must get all three points against Wits and simultaneously hope Maritzburg United do them a big favour by completing a league and cup double over Sundowns at Harry Gwala Stadium on the same night.
If such a scenario plays out, the identity of the champions will not be known until at least the weekend when both teams return to action against Cape Town City and Ajax Cape Town.
But should Sundowns win against Maritzburg and Wits beat Pirates‚ the Brazilians will be crowned league champions with two rounds of matches remaining in the campaign.
As Sredojevic and his players prepared for the clash‚ Pirates management advised fans who had bought tickets for the match against Wits to hold on to them as information will be issued at a later stage regarding refunds.
"The Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Wits will be played behind closed doors in terms of a sanction handed down by the PSL disciplinary committee‚" the PSL said in a statement.
Wits‚ who needed a last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with Polokwane City after a goal from Vincent Pule in Johannesburg on Sunday‚ will be desperate for a win as three points will boost their chances of ending the campaign in the top eight.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt should be happy with his players’ match fitness as they played on Sunday, but Pirates have been idle for almost two weeks, as they last played on April 15 against AmaZulu.
Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana‚ goalkeeper Denis Onyango and injury-hampered striker Anthony Laffor will join former teammate Andre Arendse’s achievement of five Premiership titles.
Kekana and Laffor won two titles at SuperSport in 2009 and 2010 and two in the colours of Sundowns in 2014 and 2016.
Onyango won three back-to-back league titles with SuperSport from 2008 to 2010 and then one more with Sundowns two years ago.