Soweto derby a sold-out affair

85 000 are expected at Soccer City for this Saturday's Soweto Derby.
85 000 are expected at Soccer City for this Saturday's Soweto Derby.
Image: SIMPHIWE KWALI

One would be forgiven for thinking that President Cyril Ramaphosa has temporarily added the FNB Stadium to the list of national key points.

The 164th edition of the football spectacle dubbed the Soweto derby will take place tomorrow in front of some 85 000 fans.

With each passing minute the anticipation is tipping towards its climax. It will all reach boiling point at 3.30pm at kick-off. A monumental effort between the City, the police, the PSL and broadcasters to name a few will go into the 90-minute football show.

A brief visit to the stadium in midweek revealed some unusual and out of the ordinary measures in place especially for the derby.

As you walk into the stadium’s main corridors, one’s curiosity is ignited by the odd number of minders roaming around. As you proceeds further there are two physically imposing ndunas outside the change rooms. Their job is to prevent any authorised person from entering the change rooms.

“Since Monday the Pirates guys have sort of taken over the stadium. The change rooms are a no-go area and on the pitch only their people are allowed in certain areas,” an employee at the stadium said.

Inside the change rooms, there are certain “rituals” that will be performed, the insider told us, that only club personnel will witness.

As we move out of the grounds, equipment for broadcast, marketing activations and security is being set up for the event.

An area near the parking lot has been demarcated for the Absa Red Zone where some 2000 fans will be treated to a VIP experience.

With the match tickets sold out, the last chance for fans to go to the match is by winning tickets at Festival Mall (Kempton Park) at the final activation this afternoon.

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