Thursday, February 22, 2024

A logistical nightmare and a blessing

For First Division South League (FDSL) committee, who were the organisers, taking the promotional play offs between Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Eleven Angels to Chiefs’ Riverplate home ground was a logistical nightmare.

On the other hand, for those residing in the vicinity of the ground and vendors around Mochudi, hosting the game at the ground was a blessing, an opportunity to make a quick buck.

With the ground parking almost all full at least two hours before kickoff, enterprising residents in the close vicinity of Riverplate turned their yards into temporary parking lots with at least P10 charged per car parked.

The fully packed ground also proved a cash cow for vendors, who, with supporters having flocked there before 10AM, had ample opportunity to make a killing selling their wares.

This much was recognized by FDSL acting chairman Thebeetsile Mokgwa, who found himself having to take matters into his own hands as the situation at Riverplate threatened to get out of hand.

The FDSL acting chairman more often than not found himself at the entrance directing cars and spectators seeking entrance into the ground while also having to supervise and coordinate logistics.

Speaking in an interview, Mokgwa said organisers had a nightmare with logistics more especially due to lack of adequate accessibility to the grounds as well as its lack of capacity to hold the expected multitudes.

“As you are aware, prior to this, we had sought to take this match to a bigger venue with better accessibility. We however could not secure an alternative ground that we sought and we had to settle for this ground,” he explained.

He however said due to lack of accessibility, the organisers found themselves pegged back as there was a buildup of spectators and cars. The situation, he said, was not helped by spectators’ failure to buy tickets beforehand.

“We started selling tickets on Saturday morning and people did not come forth. Only starting from today in the morning did people start flogging in to buy tickets. Many still preferred to buy at the grounds on match day. This meant that we had a buildup of spectators.”

“As a result, when the tickets we had at the grounds finished, those manning the gates decided to sell the wristbands as they tried to avoid stampedes whilst waiting for tickets. This left us with many tickets in our hands,” he explained.

As much as the organisers would have liked to move the game to a larger and more accessible ground, they were at the same time happy to have hosted at the ground as it benefited residents.

“We are always of the view that our teams should play their games in their home grounds where they originate from. We encourage them to prepare their grounds so that they can be easily accessible.”

“Look at it this way. Many supporters have been here since 10AM. During that time, whatever they needed, they bought from the vendors in the vicinity of the stadium. This meant they benefited from their team playing here at home. This is what we need,” he said.


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