The Western Province Rugby Union has accused the Cape Town city council of blackmail over the use of the newly built stadium.
WPRU steadfastly maintain that no rugby matches will be played at the Cape Town Stadium, which hosted many soccer World Cup matches earlier this year.
This is the latest setback for the Cape Town city council, after it was reported in Die Burger this week that the SAIL Stadefrance Operating Company (SSOC) had pulled out of its proposed long-term lease agreement before it even came into effect, claiming it was too expensive to continue.
The WPRU on Thursday said it would not be prepared to move any game – be it provincial match or a Test clash – to the R4.5 billion stadium.
WP president Tobie Titus reacted sharply to reports that the Cape Town city council would in future invoice the union for traffic services on match days at Newlands.
“We view it as blackmail,” Titus told Die Burger.
“It’s a subtle way of getting us to use the Cape Town Stadium. It was never an issue before.”
Titus added that the union’s willingness to pay for traffic services could “depend on the amount”.
With regards to the possibility of playing Test matches at the Cape Town Stadium, Titus had two words: “No Tests.”
Titus said that clubs, as shareholders, had decided in September at the union’s monthly meeting to respect an earlier decision that rugby will stay at Newlands.
Morné du Plessis, executive chairperson of SAIL Stadefrance, has assured he will work alongside the Cape Town city council to ensure a smooth hand-over.
Du Plessis said that despite the fact rugby would not be played at the stadium, soccer matches, concerts, carnivals and festivals could still be held.
Courtesy of Rugby 365Tweet