Absa Premiership

Nothing can beat the beautiful game

2018-03-04 11:35
Pirates v Chiefs (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - It was another beautiful day in South African football when giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs collided at the world-class FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.

Since 1971, this has been the day that all die-hard football supporters look forward to and they will do just about anything to get tickets.

But by Friday, tickets were sold out, proving once again that this is the only match that is always guaranteed bums on seats, regardless of the current form of the two adversaries.

Early in the day, the calabash-shaped stadium stood silently, waiting to swallow the 90 000-odd fans who came pouring in from all directions.

Some waved the famous Buccaneers flag with its skull and crossbones, others floated the gold and black of their beloved Amakhosi.

As usual, not just local fans filled the seats - throngs of lovers of the game from neighbouring countries, including Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, also crowded in to pay their respects to what has become Mzansi’s football Mecca after the stadium hosted the world’s best spectacle in 2010 - the World Cup.

There was lots of food, drinks flowed and all kinds of paraphernalia related to the two clubs was for sale. Sweating mamas did a roaring trade selling "pap and vleis" and vendors competed for customers from both clubs.

By 13:00, two and a half hours before kick-off, there were supporters sitting comfortably in their seats.

Still, football addicts flooded in. Soon the seats were covered in black and white and black and gold. There were also small pockets of supporters wearing red, Pirates’ alternative colour.

Many spectators bucked the South African trend of hurriedly flooding into the venue at the last minute, which usually leads to chaos and has seen many a game of this magnitude being delayed for safety reasons.

Then it was the moment that the masses were waiting for - a time to forget their problems. For 90 minutes, everyone was engrossed in one thing and one thing only - the beautiful game.

A thunderous roar welcomed the two teams when they marched on to the pitch to warm up.

As has become the trend of late, singing fans outnumbered those with vuvuzelas. There was also a lot of dancing and gyrating accompanying the singing.

The Soweto Derby continues to be one of the biggest local contests. It appeals to the public and is usually a peaceful game, unlike the matches overseas that often end in fisticuffs.

The one downside that members of the security team watch on nonchalantly as some of the spectators smoke in the stands and sometimes commit deeds that are a turn-off for those who would like to bring their families to matches. Stadium management should take serious note of this and do something about it.

In recent years, fans from opposing sides sit and laugh together, and it was no different on Saturday.

The match proved just how beautiful the game really is.

Oh yes, Pirates won 3-1...


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 03 April 2018
Wits v Maritzburg United, Bidvest Stadium 19:30
AmaZulu FC v Ajax Cape Town, King Zwelithini Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 04 April 2018
Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs, Goble Park 18:00
Cape Town City FC v Golden Arrows, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Chippa United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v SuperSport United, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Platinum Stars v Baroka FC, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 19:30
Friday, 06 April 2018
Ajax Cape Town v Wits, Athlone Stadium 20:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.