stakes are high in soweto Derby

LINCHPIN: Knowledge Musona. Pic: SIMPHIWE NKWALI. 01/08/2009. © The Times.
Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs during the Telkom Charity 2009 at Royal Bofokeng Stadium. Pirates won on Penalties 6-5 Moeneeb Josephs save Thabang Rooi's penalty. Lucky Lekgwathi nad Knowledge Musona. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI/ 01/08/2009
LINCHPIN: Knowledge Musona. Pic: SIMPHIWE NKWALI. 01/08/2009. © The Times. Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs during the Telkom Charity 2009 at Royal Bofokeng Stadium. Pirates won on Penalties 6-5 Moeneeb Josephs save Thabang Rooi's penalty. Lucky Lekgwathi nad Knowledge Musona. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI/ 01/08/2009

THERE are more than 12000 tickets still available for Saturday's Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

THERE are more than 12000 tickets still available for Saturday's Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

In some of their previous meetings tickets had been sold out a week before kickoff.

But Pirates' administrative executive Floyd "Jomo" Mbele remains optimistic that tickets will be sold out in the next few days.

Sowetan can reveal that close to 22000 tickets have been sold for this much-anticipated encounter that the Buccaneers host at the 46000-seat Orlando Stadium.

Apart from the local fans and people from neighbouring countries, the match is also expected to attract coaches and officials of the 32 World Cup teams who will be in the country for a workshop in Sun City next week.

"The tickets sales for the Soweto derby are going very well, the demands for tickets has been awesome," Mbele said yesterday.

"We are only going to sell 34000 tickets for safety and security reasons and no tickets will be sold at the stadium on the day of the match.

"I'm positive that the remaining tickets will be sold out in the next few days.

"Our marketing department is handling the entertainment issue and we will make an announcement once everything has been finalised."

The restriction on the number of people to attend the game means the derby could be watched by its smallest crowd in a long time - 34000.

Chiefs and Pirates drew 0-0 in the first round, but the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League will inspire them to make a trip to Orlando a worthy one for the fans.

The Buccaneers are in the Champions League after finishing as runners-up last season.

Amakhosi, on the other hand, are fighting for second spot to qualify for the lucrative continental showpiece next season.

Both teams hope to win their midweek games to lift their spirits ahead of Saturday's game, a fixture that divides families and unites warring factions in Parliament.

Chiefs host Mpumalanga Black Aces at Loftus tomorrow, while Pirates will be away to Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Gert Schalkwyk and Knowledge Musona carry the hopes of Pirates and Chiefs on Saturday.

X