Cosafa Cup promises economic spin-offs for Limpopo province

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Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Cape Town – The Limpopo province of South Africa has the opportunity of reaping the benefits of hosting the 2018 Cosafa Cup from May 27 to June 9, 2018.

An added bonus for fans that can experience international football is that entrance to matches at the three venues is free of charge.

This comes at a time when the calendar would be, otherwise, clear ahead of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Limpopo MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, Onicca Moloi, said, “This is a proud moment for our beautiful province, as it will be hosting this regional championship for the first time in its history.”

“This opportunity comes at a perfect time when we celebrate the centenary of the founding father of our democratic country, Tata Nelson Mandela. For the Cosafa Cup 2018, we are expecting approximately 100,000 people from countries in the SADC region to come to our province.

“This presents us with an excellent opportunity to deepen our intercultural relations between our country and these 14 nations.

“Economic benefits that will accrue will benefit local restaurants, accommodation establishments, filling stations and major retailers, among others.

“Limpopo will, therefore, experience positive economic growth as a result,” Ms Moloi added.

The matches will be played at three venues, the new Peter Mokaba Stadium that was built ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the old Peter Mokaba Stadium across the road and the newly refurbished Seshego Stadium, just to the north of Polokwane.

The new Peter Mokaba Stadium has a seating capacity of 46,000. The iconic facility was opened in 2010 and hosted the likes of Argentina, France and Mexico during the World Cup that year.

It has been regularly used to host Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches down the years, including cup finals, while the South African national side has also played at the venue.

Old Peter Mokaba Stadium has a seating capacity of 15,000. This multi-sport facility, which was opened in 1976, has an athletics track and is the regular home of PSL side Baroka FC. 

Seshego Stadium has a seating capacity of 8,000. The venue has recently received an upgrade valued at some R9.7 million, with improvements to the dressing rooms, irrigation system, drainage system, stadium lights, perimeter fence and turnstiles. These improvements were completed just last year.

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