There are several outdoor sports in South Africa and the two popular sports are rugby and football, (soccer). The most famous, and, of course, my favorite, is soccer. Roughly, nearly 2 million South Africans play football, whether is school, at home or in the pro football matches. However, the number of those that follow the sport at the club or international levels is over the top. To me, football is more than just a game. It unites people together, and it is one of the most exciting games. Football can unite total strangers, who can become friends in no time.
Football In South Africa
History was made when the first World Cup was held in Africa, hosted by South Africa. The Bafana Bafana did not lift the FIFA World Cup as the hosts, but they still made an impressive performance. They are also called the Boys by the locals. I paid for the front seats during the tournament, and since it was the World Cup, I watched all the games from the VIP section. That cost me some money, but I was willing to do anything for the game.
The last time Bafana Bafana won a top-flight tournament was in 1996 when they lifted the Africa Cup of Nations. However, they managed to make a few of their best performances of all times. The Boys drew with Mexico, and they also beat France 2-1. These results made them more famous and some vital players of the team landed amazing deals with top clubs around the world.
Nothing makes my weekends complete than when I watch the ABSA Premiership. I do not only watch any team play but the Kaizer Chiefs. To me, the Chiefs are the only alive team in South Africa, which play with determination, and they play to entertain people. The League itself was formed in 1996, and it is officially called the Premier Soccer League, currently sponsored by ABSA. It is the most valuable football league in South Africa.
They are also called the Amakhosi, or the lords or chiefs of South Africa. Without any doubt, the Kaizers are the heavyweights of the South African Football. It was established by Kaizer Motaung in 1970. The founder is a former football player that played in the North American Soccer League. One interesting fact is that the Kaizer Chiefs’ started his football career playing for Orlando Pirate. You might think that it isn’t a big deal, but as of now, Orlando Pirates are our arch rivals. If you understand how Chelsea and Arsenal can never get along, then you can picture how the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are.
Since the club was founded, it has been among the leading teams in the country, and it also has some titles in its name. When it was launched, several setbacks faced the management. Despite all that, the Keizer Chiefs managed to rise through the ranks and be included amongst the best clubs in the country. The founder mixed some talented rookies and veterans at the club, which allowed them to flourish.
After the terrible start, Kaizer Chiefs were named the most prominent team to win over 78 trophies, and it had a rough estimate of 4 million supporters from across the country. The Chiefs usually have more supporters than any home team, whether when they play at home, or away. We usually joke that the Chiefs never play an away game, because they will always have more supporters in any match.
In 2001, the team won the African Cup Winners Cup, which was included as one of the biggest achievements of all times. They have also won the Premier Soccer League three times, including the 2014/15 season. That means that we are the current defending champions of the ABSA PSL.
The Soweto Champions/The Derby
The Kaizer Chiefs are based in Soweto, Johannesburg and have been the best team there, especially after securing their first Continental Cup. They played Inter Luanda, an Angolan team in the final, and they won. The Soweto dominance is not as easy as such, especially with the existence of the unbearable Orlando Pirates.
The Orlando Pirates were established in 1937, in Soweto. Even though the establishment of the club is heart-touching, they are still our greatest enemies. The club was founded by the migrant workers offsprings, who moved to work in the Gauteng gold mines. Bravo for their patriotism and the hard work, but Soweto is ruled by the Chiefs, and there is no debate on that. The team has won the Premier League four times, and they are among the top teams in the country.
If you want to enjoy the best South African football Derby, then you need to watch the mighty Chiefs playing the Pirates. Maybe they were named the Pirates because all they do is to pirate their wins. Maybe I am just being mean, but we play the real soccer game. You can go down to the FNB Stadium in Nasrec to watch a home game of the Chiefs. Just so you know how mighty the Kaizer Chiefs are, it is estimated to have an overall supporter count of 16 million. This number includes other countries in Africa. You don’t want to know how many supporter the old-school, Orlando Pirates have. Some top players have put on the Black-Gold jersey, and they are Lucas Radebe (Rhoo), Doctor Khumalo (16V), Patrick Ntsoelengoe (Ace), and Neil Tovey (Mokoko).
The No-nonsense team
In 2005, the Chiefs abruptly withdrew from the 2005 CAF Confederation Cup. This was the second time for the Kaizer Chiefs to refuse to participate in the competition. Besides, who tells the boss what to do? Unfortunately, they were banned from the competition until 2009.
Currently, as the holding ABSA Premiership champions, the Chiefs are in position 5, only four points off the Platinum Stars at the top of the table. We have 10 points, having drawn four and won only two in six games. The good thing is that the Kaizer Chiefs are still unbeaten. Also, we are ahead of the Orlando Pirates, Losers! The Pirates have already lost two games, and they only have 5 points from 6 games. Without any doubt, the Chiefs are Soweto’s Finest, and we are heading back to the top position to defend our title.
Because this was formerly a SAFA website, with a history documenting the past, some of those past pages are preserved here: