Football Tournament In South Africa Called Off Because Of Stadium's Field Conditions
A four-team tournament involving EPL side Fulham and Portuguese club Benfica set for Bloemfontein, South Africa next month "has been cancelled because of the sub-standard state of the pitch at the Free State Stadium," according to Mark Gleeson of SOWETAN LIVE. An advance party from the London-based club, which traveled to inspect the venue and other facilities in the Free State capital, "turned down the venue because of the patchy field." The decision "comes as a blow to football fans in the provincial capital and particularly to Bloemfontein Celtic," which was also "set to compete in the potential money-spinning two-day event, along with New York Cosmos." The pitch at the Free State Stadium, which was a World Cup venue in '10, has been heavily criticized because "it is not only used for matches but also for training by the Super Rugby franchise" (SOWETAN LIVE, 5/28).