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Stadium Management SA: Safety of the fans first ahead of the Soweto derby

The safety of fans is uppermost in the minds of thousands who will head to FNB Stadium for the famous Soweto derby tomorrow.

After the tragedy that overshadowed the last derby, where two fans lost their lives in July, the spotlight naturally falls on this very important aspect of the event.

Soweto derby

Stadium Management SA (SMSA) was, however, quick to assure everyone that the biggest match on the PSL calendar will go off without incident.

Security has been tightened around the stadium and SMSA has pleaded with fans to arrive early to avoid the last-minute scramble into the calabash.


The two teams have vowed to produce quality football, with Bernard Parker predicting a win for Chiefs, though he would not be drawn on the number of goals.

Kaizer Chiefs will host their old enemy Orlando Pirates in a crunch Absa Premiership clash tomorrow (3.30pm), four months after the two last met at the venue.

“The win against Sundowns on Tuesday must not give us the belief that we will just walk through the match,” said Chiefs coach Steve Komphela. “We must be careful, get through the match.

“Even though Pirates played to a draw midweek, we can’t go in there with memories of Tuesday. We can’t afford to be complacent.

“We want our supporters to go home with a sweet taste in the mouth. We have to dig deep. It doesn’t happen through words, we have to work for it.”

He admitted it was difficult to plan for Pirates, who have had as many as five different coaches in the last two seasons.

His Bucs counterpart, Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic is seeking personal glory in the showdown. “I’m lucky. I will have coached in five big derbies in different countries – Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda. Sudan and now SA. But this is the biggest. It divides families!

“This is a three-point job and has to be done. I expect those on the field to deliver.”

Bucs will not have drawn much motivation from their 1-1 home draw with Platinum Stars midweek and Micho admitted his team was “far from its best”.

Yet the Serb predicts a 2-0 win for his team, reasoning he has the players to win the derby. He says Thabo Matlaba is a three-dimensional player who leads by example.

Much is also expected of Thamsanqa Gabuza who, just like Chiefs’ Parker, will be under pressure to deliver up-front.