Amakhosi help relaunch Rand Stadium

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

It was Orlando Pirates who set the ball rolling by christening Orlando Stadium, now Kaizer Chiefs follow suite when they reopen the Rand Stadium on December 20.

This stadium is bound to bring back mixed memories for Amakhosi, who became the first team to beat the unstoppable Lusitano 2-1 in a league clash of the National Professional Soccer League in 1978.

It was also at this venue where memorable matches between a Black XI and White XI, and a Black XI match against Argentina veterans were staged during the period of South Africa's isolation.

Now Amakhosi are likely to reopen this venue in grand style when they welcome Platinum Stars in an Absa Premiership game on the day.

It will be the last game of the year, which the host are determined to win.

Chiefs' team manager Bobby "Bobsteak" Motaung said yesterday it was a pleasure for them to play at the venue again.

"We're delighted to go back to the Rand Stadium because we used to play there before.

"We have a good track record and can't wait to play there again," he said.

"It will also be an opportunity for our supporters to come in large numbers to watch their idols in action.

"Again the venue is central and not far from the townships," Motaung added.

"We're aware that it is not ready yet because there are some few loose ends to tie up, but soon it will be completed."

The renovations started in October 2006, and now that it is almost complete, Rand Stadium is going to be used as a training ground for the 2009 Confederations Cup and also for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Motaung, who sounded excited, added that for Chiefs to play at this once-popular venue showed how great the partnership between them and the City of Johannesburg was.