South Africa
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‘Fixtures short-change Maritzburg of Fridays gigs’

Maritzburg United chairman Farook Kadodia says the PSL has disappointed him by allocating his side a small number of home games on Fridays. 

Friday night football under the light of the Harry Gwala Stadium had cemented itself as one of the hot properties in South African football before the Covid-19 era. Fans would flock to the stadium, generating a vibe that was felt by thousands who were at home glued to their TV screens. 

The atmosphere that Maritzburg built around the Friday Night Lights at Harry Gwala tag, saw their brand become more recognisable, which is hard to do. They were able to keep their core fans while attracting a younger audience. Their growth and progress were halted by the global pandemic.

Post the Covid-19 pandemic, the club had hoped to pick up where they left off in this new DStv Premiership season and continue to build. However, they were left discouraged when the fixture lists were released; out of their 15 home games, only five will be played on Friday. 

Kadodia said he is disappointed the PSL could not help them in their vision of making Friday Night Football at the Harry Gwala Stadium a mainstay.

"The work has been done over time. We want this (Friday Night Football) to continue. It does look like the fans are going to be there for us," said Kadodia when speaking to the Sowetan. 

"The one disappointment is we have more Saturday games than Friday night games. Friday Night Lights is something of our slogan. It's disappointing, normally we have nine games on a Friday night and this year it's just five. 

"I won't dwell too much on the fixtures but I'm disappointed. People in Pietermaritzburg are working class. The games allow them to have a meal in the city after work and then go to the ground. 

"We built this successfully. We brought value to the PSL and MultiChoice, and the pictures of our Friday Night Lights were fantastic," he said. 

The first of the five Friday night home games for Maritzburg will be this evening at 7.30pm against Swallows