Top flight football returns to the Free State, albeit for just one day, after a year’s absence after the PSL status of Bloemfontein Celtic was sold to Durban side Royal AM. Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM will play in the Macufe Cup on Sunday.
The friendly match will relaunch the annual Macufe Cultural Festival which was suspended for two years due to COVID-19. In the past, the Cup match took place at the end of festivities, but due to the current Fifa break, the organisers decided to use the highly anticipated fixture to kick-off the event.
The sale of Bloemfontein Celtic to Royal AM was the end of Premiership football in the Free State. It was a sad moment for the faithful who were a vibrant crowd at home matches.
However, they will have an opportunity to relive the stadium experience and set an electrifying atmosphere during the Macufe Cup. That is the expectation from organisers, although Celtic will not be in action.
“It’s the relaunch of the Macufe and it’s an opening game. It is going to be beautiful, we will have all the energy that we know that Free State can offer that the country can offer,” says Macufe organiser Ben Moseme.
It will be a bitter sweet moment for the Siwelele movement to witness a team that claimed their status playing in their own backyard.
There has also been an outcry from some quarters of the Celtic fans to withdraw the invitation of Royal AM, because their participation could lead to a protest. The organisers will also rely on the huge Kaizer Chiefs fan base to make it a spectacle.
“We need to fill up the stadium we need to make sure the supporters of the two teams to feel at home and to reconnect with the soccer Free State, we don’t have any teams as you are all aware, we expecting those fans to be taking side it’s obvious the Celtic supporters will go with Amakhosi, I don’t think there is a question about that,” Moseme added.
There is continued hope that Celtic will be revived in the near future. But in the meantime, there is a need to keep football alive in the City of Roses.
“We don’t want to lose touch, we need to activate the supporters, keep them on the stands bring more friendly matches more cups any activity that will keep the rugby stadium busy in terms of maintenance otherwise we are going to lose everything in the long run if we don’t work together, strategize and lose focus,” Moseme reiterates.
The match between Chiefs and Royal AM will be played at the Free State Stadium and will kick off at three o’clock.