Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ajax Cape Town barred from playing against Liverpool

Liverpool F.C recently announced that it will take part in a post-season friendly match with Ajax Cape Town in South Africa later this month,precisely on the 21st. However, South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL)  are putting a stop to the international friendly on the grounds that  it would take publicity away from the country's cup final.

Ajax Cape Town have been refused permission by the league to play a friendly against the English club in Cape Town on May 21 in a move that was immediately criticized.

South Africa’s cup final, sponsored by the banking group Nedbank, completes the season on May 25, four days after the proposed friendly. The last round of league matches is on May 18.

The league’s general manager Mr. Derek Blankensee on Wednesday -"We don’t allow international friendlies while the season is still on because it competes with our own events and our own sponsors,"

"This is the biggest game of the season for our sponsor and we want them to get the exposure they deserve," Blankensee added.
Cape Town’s municipal authorities, who were bankrolling the game, criticised the decision.

"I think it’s short-sighted because we are trying to build brand South Africa, and getting one of the greatest football teams in the world to play in this country is a massive achievement for us," Cape Town city councillor Grant Pascoe told local media.
"Football attracts guests and what sort of message does this send out to our guests?"

An invitation side, made up of players from Ajax and other Cape Town professional sides, is now planned to face Liverpool, although all the players are registered with the PSL.
Last year Ajax hosted Manchester United in a friendly two weeks before the start of the season.