Absa Premiership

Chiefs' nomads away from home for two months

2015-11-30 10:31
Steve Komphela (Supplied)
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 possibility.

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 home ground.

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 deal.

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.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  sy lerman  |  soccer
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Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
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Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
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