Cape Town - Likening Kaizer
Chiefs, the most popular soccer club in the country, to one with nomadic
traits, would seem far-fetched if not downright beyond the realms of
And yet, through a combination of chance, PSL rulings and
decisions of their own making, the Amakhosi are set to go through an extended
period of almost two months without playing a single game at their FNB Stadium
home venue in Johannesburg.
It started with the recent drawn away Premier League
match against Maritzburg United in
Maritzburg, which will be followed by a three-week break in PSL fixtures while
the South African Under-23 team is involved in a tournament in Senegal that
will decide 2016 Olympic Games qualification.
Then the sell-out Telkom Cup final against Mamelodi
Sundowns, which the PSL have decreed will take place at the Moses Mabhida
Stadium in Durban on December 16.
And, to top it all, defending Premier League champions
Chiefs have themselves elected to play their designated home game against current log leaders Bidvest Wits at the Cape Town Stadium on December 19 - leaving them without a
genuine home game at FNB Stadium until the Premier League match-up against
Sundowns on January 9.
With this decision by the Amakhosi, one is reminded of
what Aristotle proclaimed more than 2 500 years ago, namely that "all that we do is motivated at the same
time by something else".
Nothing much has changed, it would seem, since the Greek
philosopher par excellence suggested that behind every motivation there is
concealed another motive.
Which takes one to Chiefs and the reason or reasons
behind the Amakhosi's decision to play several
home games - particularly the key
one against Wits - more than 1 000km away from their designated FNB Stadium
Primarily and traditionally home games are designed to
provide an advantage for teams on a familiar pitch and in front of a crowd
whose support is a significant motivating factor - not to mention that these
self-same supporters are rewarded with the reciprocal chance to watch their
favourite team at the most convenient point for them.
So why go to Cape Town?
Well financial factors often play
a part in such matters and Chiefs are never averse to taking note of a good
Also, such is Amakhosi's vast nationwide following that
it might be argued they will still enjoy a vast majority of the support at the
Cape Town Stadium when they face Wits.
Yet the move to Cape Town of the defending PSL champions
- if not to Cairo - is immersed in a
good many ambiguities and it needs to be questioned whether Chiefs have a
better chance of reducing their eight-point deficit against Wits under the
shadow of Table Mountain.
Chiefs are in many
instances a law unto themselves and who can question their popularity rating in
South Africa or their rampant success record in domestic competition from the
club's inception almost 45 years ago.
Yet, for all this, there remains a glaring shortcoming in
Amakhosi's CV and that relates to their limited success in continental
tournaments outside of South Africa's borders.
And playing home games a matter of 1 000km away from home
in a vital encounter as though they were nomads is more in keeping with a big
fish swimming in a small pool than one with ambitions of frolicking among the
elite of world club football.