Kaizer Chiefs are contemplating whether to host back to back Soweto Derbies at the FNB Stadium next month following last night’s Telkom Knockout quarter-finals draw, which has pitted them against their rivals Orlando Pirates.
Amakhosi already have a scheduled Absa Premiership fixture with the Buccaneers on November 9 and the cup game now means the two sides will face off a week earlier – exciting for the fans, but a conundrum for the club.
What is also a concern is the fact that the annual Soweto Marathon is also taking place the same weekend as the cup tie and the City of Johannesburg has told the Siya crew that, while they are more than happy to manage two major events, this would put the planning for the logistics under some pressure to ensure smooth sailing.
“I had a discussion with them this morning and as a club they are going to meet sometime during the course of the day and take a decision,” said Bertie Grobbelaar, the MD of Stadium Management SA, who run the daily operations at FNB Stadium. Chiefs, as the home team for both the cup and the league matches, can use one of their alternative grounds for the Telkom Knockout, such as the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
“There are two issues here – the league derby the following week (November 9), which needs a decision from a commercial perspective. And the next thing is the Soweto Marathon on the 3rd, so the question was asked about hosting two events. It’s going to be a huge challenge logistically, but if Chiefs prefer to play the cup fixture at home, we will make it work,” Bertie told the Siya crew.
The PSL isn’t opposed to the venue for the TKO clash being Soccer City. Mato Madlala, the league’s acting CEO, said it was up to Chiefs to make the call.
“All the role players will have to consider what decision to make and that includes the City of Johannesburg – a lot of events happen here at the same time without us being aware of it sometimes. It’s one city that can handle all these logistics,” she said.