The playoffs season is heating up

The month of May is synonymous with the struggle of the working class in some parts of the world including South Africa which celebrates and have a holiday dedicated to workers on 1 May. In other parts of the world like Russia this day is associated with the birth of the illuminati. In amateur football this month signals the start of Promotional Playoffs for clubs playing league football. It is the ‘struggle’ for promotion to a higher league, be it the Local Promotional Playoffs, the Regional Promotional Playoffs, ABC Motsepe Provincial Playoffs or the Glad Africa Promotional Playoffs.

On Saturday 21 May 2022 six (6) football clubs will do battle for two available spots of the ABC Motsepe League 2022/23 season. The battle will be known as the Mpumalanga Men Regional League Promotional Playoffs set for Kanyamazane Stadium, Mbombela. The playoffs will be contested by clubs coming from the Gert Sibande Region, Nkangala Region and hosts eHlanzeni Region. Each region will be having two clubs.

Clubs that have been working hard at training and at matches get to be rewarded via promotion to the next level. All eyes will be at seasonal campaigners from the Gert Sibande Region Flymingo United FC who have been playing Regional League football since the 2009/10 season. Most clubs that will be part of this season’s playoffs are not that old which makes Flymingo United the oldest club. FC Zone Mavo will be looking at bouncing back to the élite’ league of amateur football after suffering relegation in the 2020/21 season.

This is probably the only time that everybody wish they own or be part of a club playing league football.

Flymingo United will be playing at Group B starting with Happy Dam FC from eHlanzeni Region at 9am followed by Middelburg United FC from Nkangala Region at 12pm. Happy Dam FC will then play Middelburg United FC at 3pm, by then they would know if they get promoted or not.

In Group A Sibange Young Bucks FC from eHlanzeni Region will lock horns with Genaro FC from Nkangala Region at 9am. Genaro FC from Nkangala will play another seasoned campaigners from the Gert Sibande’s FC Zone Mavo at 12pm. The last match of the group will be FC Zone Mavo vs Sibange Young Bucks FC from eHlanzeni at 3pm.

On paper promotion is easy, just win one match and draw one or win both. On the pitch it will be a totally different game influenced by many factors. The most feared factor of the playoffs after muthi use is the bribery of match officials. Let us hope both will not be a factor on Saturday 21 May 2022 at Kanyamazane Stadium. Let Fair Play be the order of the day and may the best teams get promotion. A win or promotion to any club not only brings joy to the football community but also the town which they come from. Promotion to the provincial league comes with sports tourism as different clubs from the province will be visiting every fortnight bringing along supporters to host club town. There is also a chance of getting to the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, kuningi nje.

Flymingo United FC qualified for the Men Regional League Provincial Playoff after winning Stream B of the Gert Sibande Men Regional League. They will be at the provincial playoffs for the first time in their history looking for promotion to the ABC Motsepe League.

A lot of club owners will ask one question before any other when discussing joining a league at grass root level: “Ngizotholani ngokudlala iLigi?”(What will I get from playing in the League). The response by local football administrators is not always received well more so if money is not mentioned. The same question cannot be found during this time when the season reaches the Promotional Playoffs stage. This is probably the only time that everybody wish they own or be part of a club playing league football.

A win or promotion to any club not only brings joy to the football community but to the town which they come from. Promotion to the provincial league comes with sports tourism as different clubs from the province will be visiting every fortnight bringing along supporters to host club town. There is also a chance of getting to the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, kuningi nje.

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