SO Durban boasts people with a passion for football. They do not want to pay to go to the stadiums. An entrance fee of R40 is too much for them but they can afford tickets worth well over R100 to watch pre-season friendly matches featuring foreign teams
They proved their “undying” love for the beautiful game when they filled Moses Mabhida Stadium to capacity when AmaZulu played multiple English Premier League champions Manchester United on Wednesday night.
It was refreshing to see so many people of different races ululating and singing from the first to the last whistle.
Most of the fans wore Manchester United colours and those who rooted for the Red Devils outnumbered Usuthu fans. Up until the match, we were not too sure whether Indians would come to the stadium in throngs.
It is not wrong to support European teams, but it is disturbing to see our teams playing in empty stadiums. There are several PSL teams, including AmaZulu, who have been playing to many empty seats.
And this is not because our teams play dull football or their marketing people are not doing enough to lure people to the stadiums. It’s just easy – our people do not support their own teams.
They do not want to pay to go to the stadiums. An entrance fee of R40 is too much for them but they can afford tickets worth well over R100 to watch pre-season friendly matches featuring foreign teams.
The cheapest ticket for the AmaZulu/Man United game cost R150, but the price did not deter the fans from attending in massive numbers.
Even the fact that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson brought a second-string side did not stop people from turning up in droves for the match.
Some even traveled from as far as Johannesburg, Polokwane and Bloemfontein for this pre-season match without any significance. Many soccer fans also prefer freebie tickets to buying tickets to a match involving their teams.
That is the mindset of our domestic soccer fans and it needs to change for the benefit and development of the game.
Sowetan’s office has been inundated with calls from people asking for complimentary tickets for the 2012 edition of the Carling Black Label Cup which features arch-rivals Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at Soccer City on July 28.
The very same fans were also not ashamed to ask for complimentary tickets for the Telkom Charity Cup that was meant to benefit charity organisations.
We hope the same people who attended the midweek game will not be asking for “free” tickets when AmaZulu play in league matches this season.
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