All systems go for Soweto derby

Orlando pirates and Kaizer Chiefs logos
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Preparations for the 163rd Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs scheduled for FNB Stadium on Saturday have been followed to letter.

It is a sold out affair and authorities have promised to arrest anyone selling tickets of the match in and around the Nasrec precinct.

The Soweto derby is South Africa’s biggest football spectacle. Just last week, Stadium Management reported that the match was sold out with more than 82 000 tickets sold.

Stadium Management’s Bertie Grobbelaar says the safety of those attending the match, is a priority.

“It’s quite an extensive planning process and as I said in the conference is all headed up by an authorised member of the South African Police Services planning process who coordinate the planning event in terms of the Sasrea (Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act) legislation. There’s a 1800 security service providers involved, 122 JMPD, and the police deployment number will obviously not be disclosed prior to the event but obviously they’ve got a lot of manpower involved as well.”

The derby has matured like good wine and the theme adopted for the Saturday’s event is ‘family friendly’.  Orlando Pirates’ media officer Thandi Morafe says it will be much more than just the 90 minutes of soccer.

“The other key thing that we’ve looked at is creating a fun environment, a family friendly environment and most importantly a kid friendly environment because for us the safety of this event is key and we’ve worked really hard towards ensuring a safe and secure event.”

For the very first time, parking will be available to those who will be attending the match on Saturday, free of charge.

Grobbelaar says car guards hoping to make a quick buck, will be dealt with.

“We planned for 52 000 people, individuals, perks to come to the stadium by private vehicles there are parking bays. There will be free public parking and again we want to urge the people we’ve got a problem at all venues with illegal car guards directing people”.

Fans have been urged to arrive at the stadium early.  Gates open at 11 o’clock with kick-off at half past three on Saturday afternoon.