One of the DSTV Premiership sponsors MTN is engaging with the league’s executive to allow supporters to be at the stadium during the final of this season’s MTN-8 later this month.
Cape Town City will host Mamelodi Sundowns in the final scheduled for the 30th of this month. The match will be played at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

History was made in South Africa on Tuesday evening when football fans were allowed to attend a game for the first time in eighteen months.

2000 fans were permitted to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium. But strict COVID-19 regulations had to be followed to comply with the law. Only vaccinated fans were allowed to watch the match live at the stadium.
Now negotiations are at an advanced stage to have fans at the final of the MTN-8 at the end of the month, according to MTN sponsorship manager Nomsa Mazibuko.

“When they looked at the football calendar they realised obviously that the MTN-8 was coming up on the 30th of October and they identified that as the match actually to bring back the fans and us as sponsors. We are excited about it because you know football has never been the same without the fans in the stadium and I’m certain that our customers in KZN are looking forward to coming back into the stadium. However, I think it’s still early days, they are still investigating, they are still engaging with different stakeholders and as long as they have the logistics pinned down they will come back to us and communicate the details thereof.”

Mazibuko has pleaded with soccer lovers to comply with all COVID-19 regulations to help return the country to normality.

“Certainly as MTN, we’ve always been supportive of all the COVID-19 regulations. We are supportive of all the measures that we need to take in order to stay safe from this pandemic. We are encouraging fans to vaccinate, we are encouraging fans to put on their masks. Do not let their guard down because we’ve noticed that there has been this behaviour of fans not really wearing their masks properly, so we’re saying to everyone wear your mask, sanitize, continue with social distance go out and get vaccinated in droves so that we can go back to the stadiums, to go back and experience the football that we had in 2019.”

Even former players agree that a limited number of fans should be allowed to be at the stadium for the final in Durban. Former Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mphela says players need all the support from the stands.

“It’s only positive for football you know, as a former football player I know how it feels to play without fans, you know fans they give you that boost we call them our 12th man, they give you that boost whether you winning or you losing, they give you that extra push and also for the atmosphere it’s always nice to have fans. We will just encourage people to go vaccinate so that we can go back to the normal”.

Premier Soccer League’s sponsorship manager explains why the Moses Mabhida Stadium got the nod to host another local soccer cup final in South Africa.

“The preferred venue was considered by both Cape Town City, Mamelodi Sundowns, as well as MTN. They chose this venue because it’s a world-class facility and has hosted numerous events. Also because it’s also a neutral ground for all the parties that will be taking part.”

Both sides will be playing in their third MTN-8 final. Sundowns who are aiming to win their first-ever MTN-8 crown played in the final in 2008 and in 2016.

On the other hand, the Citizens are gunning for their second MTN-8 trophy, after first losing in 2017 final, but then winning it a season later under former coach Benni McCarthy.