No fans is like a funeral, says Giovanni Solinas
Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas is dreading the prospect of motivating his players for a match he has dryly described as a funeral.
Chiefs will host Polokwane City behind closed doors in Saturday’s Premiership fixture at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in a match which‚ by instruction of a Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary committee ruling‚ must be played in front of empty stands.
This was part of a punishment for a violent pitch invasion by Chiefs’ fans at Moses Mabhida after their 2-0 Nedbank Cup semifinal defeat against Free State Stars last season.
Solinas admitted he is not looking forward to a game that will be played in eerie silence.
"It’s a difficult game for us‚" the coach said.
"In my opinion, football without the supporters is a funeral.
"Because the fans make the atmosphere beautiful for playing football, " Solinas pointed out.
"In the game against Cape Town City in Cape Town [Chiefs’ 4-1 win last month] there were 30,000 supporters there for us.
"But it’s not an excuse. We have tried to prepare very well for this game. And we will try to win the game for our fans."
The City of Durban will lose out financially as well and Chiefs will lose the gate-takings income from the match.
The income from the gate-takings for a crowd of 15,000‚ at the PSL’s minimum ticket price of R50‚ would be R750,000.
Part of this‚ though‚ goes to the eThekwini Municipality as part of Chiefs’ three-year contract to use Moses Mabhida as an alternate home venue.
The organisers can save some of their losses by having far less security at the venue on Saturday, Moses Mabhida’s stadium manager Vusi Mazibuko said on Thursday.
"The fact that it’s a closed stadium‚ obviously the logistics are not the same‚" he said.
"And obviously with the public not being allowed, you hand over that matter to the police to deal with‚ because the perimeters outside the stadium need to be secured by the police."
The game against Polokwane is one of two Chiefs are sentenced to playing behind closed doors in Durban.
The next one will be against Chippa United on November 10.
"It’s just something we have to live with‚" Mazibuko said.