The winners of the different Local Football Associations’ (LFA) senior men’s leagues from around Ekurhuleni will meet in the playoffs that are going to be hosted at Tsakane and Kwa-Thema Stadiums, to fight for promotion into the Ekurhuleni SAB League – the fourth-tier – for the 2019/2020 season.
This was confirmed by South African Football Association (SAFA) Ekurhuleni president Job Mchunu on Thursday. Mchunu says the 12 different winners of the LFA leagues, which include Brakpan Super League champions Verbal Warning, will converge in Kwatsaduza on the weekend of 5-7 July. The winners of the regional under-19 league will also be included as the 13th team, which Mchunu says is so as to afford the youngsters the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best teams in the region.
The 13 teams will be put into three groups of three and one group of four, and the group winners will advance to the semi-finals. The two finalists will automatically gain promotion to the SAB League.
The president says the two local stadiums were awarded the hosting rights as a result of their competition committee’s rotation policy. “Normally what we do, our playoffs are being rotated in different local football associations. For example, last year we played all our games in Eden Park, but now the opportunity is now given to the two LFAs which is Springs and Brakpan.”
“You also look at the availability and the condition of the pitch that is going to be used. Ordinarily we go where there are two stadiums or two fields in one area, but we could not find a stadium where we could do that, then we had to share between the two hosting LFAs,” adds Mchunu.
He also says the dates for the playoffs were changed to avoid running them concurrently with the provincial playoffs that are between the teams that are competing for promotion into the Gauteng ABC Motsepe League. The LFA playoffs were originally scheduled for the 28th and 29th of June.
Mchunu says the participating teams will find out who their group stage opponents are after the draw has been conducted on Tuesday, at a venue that is yet to be confirmed.
The president has also confirmed that, although the complete fixture schedule is yet to be drawn up, the first round of the playoff matches will be played at Tsakane Stadium on Friday, 5 July. “The first games of the four streams will be played at Tsakane Stadium on Friday night. And then Saturday and Sunday, during the day, we will be using both stadiums because we won’t be playing at night on those days.”