CHIPPA United have announced they will stay put in Cape Town for the upcoming Premier Soccer League season after talks to relocate to Port Elizabeth broke down.
The newly promoted side had been in talks with the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and the operators of the city’s 2010 World Cup stadium, but said on Monday they had ended the discussion without giving reasons.
“We will no longer be relocating the team to Port Elizabeth as we had earlier anticipated and it was reported in some sections of the media,” Chippa chairman Siviwe Mpengesi said. “It was obvious that our proposal was appealing to the people of the Eastern Cape who had interest to see us playing at Nelson Mandela (Bay) Stadium.
“It was never about money or competition; our move was motivated by the interest we have in the development of football in the Eastern Cape.
“We felt we also had to respect the process that was already under way as far as negotiations between the (municipality) and the other clubs are concerned.”
It is believed that Maritzburg United are now in line to take up residence in the Eastern Cape, if they can come to an agreement with the municipality.
The decision to stay in Cape Town means Chippa will move ahead with plans to redevelop the Philippi Stadium into a facility with a capacity of 20,000.
“Our focus now is … on rebuilding Philippi Stadium and make it our fortress this coming season and hopefully for many years to come,” Mpengesi said. “We would like to see the stadium hosting no less than 20,000 fans in the near future.”