Swallows win to relegate Gallants to Motsepe Foundation Championship

You are currently viewing Swallows win to relegate Gallants to Motsepe Foundation Championship
  • Post published:May 21, 2023

Marumo Gallants were relegated from the DStv Premiership following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Swallows FC in their final fixture played at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

Young Africans of Tanzania defeated Marumo in the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals on Wednesday. The majority of Marumo’s roster consisted of older players released by other top-tier clubs.

Then, needing a tie against Swallows to avoid automatic relegation, they conceded two goals to Lindokuhle Mtshali, who scored in first-half stoppage time and with nine minutes remaining.

After the final round of the 30-match championship, Marumo had 29 points, one less than Maritzburg United and Chippa United.

“I am shattered. It never crossed my mind that this (relegation) would happen,” said Marumo coach Raymond Mdaka.

“We were on top of the world just a few weeks ago — eliminating powerful Egyptian club Pyramids in a Confederation Cup quarter-final and picking up valuable league points at home.

“What probably counted against us in the end was a lack of strength in depth. We are a small club and lack the financial resources of many other South African teams.

“The boys were a little tired lately from all the travel — we visited Madagascar, Libya twice, Zambia, Algeria, Egypt and Tanzania to reach the Confederation Cup semi-finals.”

There have been reports of disputes between Marumo players and officials regarding bonuses, and some supporters have speculated on social media that this may have contributed to the team’s demise.

Marumo are currently flush with cash, having received 750,000 dollars (14,600 million rand) for reaching the Confederations Cup semifinals.

This prize money can only be surpassed in the Premiership by winning the championship, which is worth 15 million rand.

While Marumo prepare for life in a lower league next season, Polokwane City, champions of the second division, will replace them in the premier league.

Second-to-last Maritzburg, who earned a 1-1 draw on the road against severely depleted champions Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek, will compete with two second-tier teams for one Premiership spot in the play-offs.

Sundowns rested their entire first team in preparation for their CAF Champions League semi-final match against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca, which they ultimately lost on away goals.

Orlando Pirates defeated AmaZulu 4-0 in Durban to finish in second place and join Sundowns in the CAF Champions League in 2024.

SuperSport United, who began the final round tied with Pirates in terms of points, lost 1-0 to Sekhukhune United in Polokwane and must now settle for a Confederations Cup spot.

Regardless of their South African FA Cup final result against Pirates on May 27 in Pretoria, Sekhukhune qualify for the second-tier African competition.

Photo by Gavin Barker/BackpagePix