APRIL 11 2001 will go down in history as one of the darkest nights in South African football history.
Thousands of football fans converged on Ellis Park to witness what should have been a great spectacle between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but instead turned into chaos as a stampede at the stadium left 43 three people dead and many others injured.
While many factors such as "poor forecast of match attendance and untimely announcement that tickets were sold out" were fingered as having had a hand in the carnage, the fact that the two sides enjoy massive support also played a role as throngs of fans tried to force their way into the stadium.
It was thus surprising to learn that next week's (October 31) Soweto derby between these two sides, which was scheduled for the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, will now be played at Orlando Stadium.
The derby had initially been scheduled for Orlando, but after the size of the venue was deemed too small, it was moved to the much bigger Loftus Versfeld (capacity 65000).
However, due to the Currie Cup final between the Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs being scheduled for the same venue and on the same day, it was decided that Orlando Stadium would host the match.
There had been fears that the stadium would not be able to accommodate all the fans attending the match, but Chiefs communications manager Thebe Mohatle was quick to allay fears of possible disaster.
"We are very much aware of the challenges facing us.
"The fans will also have to come to the party - as soon as the 'sold out' board goes up, whoever does not have a ticket must not come.
"We thought of taking the match to Mbombela Stadium, but it's not ready. Absa Stadium is also not available."