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Chiefs And Liverpool Honour Their Fallen

The 11th of April 2001 was possibly the darkest day ever experienced in South African football - it was the night of the Ellis Park tragedy in which 43 fans lost their lives during the match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Much of the fatalities on the day were related to overcrowding in the stadium. 

In a tragic coincidence, it is also nearly the same date upon which the blackest day was experienced in English football as well. On 15 April 1989, 96 fans lost their lives during a match between English giants, Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday.

As a result, every year both clubs honour those fans who fell in such tragic circumstances. They perhaps also do so as a reminder that such incidents must never occur again.

Liverpool coach, Brendan Rodgers, has explained that winning the English Premiership title would be a very fitting way to honour those who died on that sad day in April.

He told BBC Sport, "It would be a tremendous thing for Liverpool to win the title on the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough and 24 years after they last won it, but every family will be different. Justice and closure is the most important thing for the families and I feel 100% compassion for them. Liverpool winning the league would come a long way second or third in that process, although of course as fans they would love to see the club enjoy such success."

Chiefs Chairman, Kaizer Motaung, has also issued a tribute about the Ellis Park Disaster on the club's official website. He emphasised why the tragedy would always serve as a reminder for having good security and safety procedures at all games in Mzansi. 

He said, "The memories of that night will never be erased in our minds and our deepest heartfelt condolences will forever go to the bereaved families of the disaster. The Ellis Park Disaster will remain a terrible moment in our football history. The people who passed on that night will forever be remembered. They paid the ultimate price for the sake of the game. We remain conscious of this day as a harsh reminder to the football fraternity to continuously work hard to improve security at our games."   

Soccer Laduma would also like to pay respect to the families who lost their loved ones in both tragedies. May their souls rest in peace.


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