Full house expected at Chiefs' 50th anniversary celebration match against Highlands
Tickets to Kaizer Chiefs' 50th anniversary celebration match against Highlands Park have all been snapped up and over 80 000 fans are expected to attend the league game at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.
Chiefs turn 50 on Tuesday and the club decided to give away free tickets to the encounter to be played a day later.
Stadium Management SA managing director Bertie Grobbelaar said accommodating a full house on a Wednesday night will be a massive challenge and they will implement the same plan they usually reserve for the Soweto derby between Chiefs and traditional rivals Orlando Pirates.
"We expect 80 000‚ and that is only patrons inside the stadium‚ without service providers and hospitality‚" he said.
"The hospitality has not been huge this time around because of the time of the year‚ the late announcement‚ and the fact that it is a free fixture."
Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung said the popular club would pay tribute to the loyal supporters‚ the players‚ staff and partners who t have helped make the side one of the biggest in the world.
“Over the five decades since the establishment of Kaizer Chiefs‚ we have been humbled that the club has been embraced by millions countrywide‚ across the African continent and around the globe.
"It has not been an easy journey‚ but all 50 years have been golden‚ and we are grateful to all those who have played a role and sacrificed so much for the club’s success‚” said Motaung.
Chiefs marketing director‚ Jessica Motaung‚ said since the club's formation in 1970‚ the side have consistently been South Africa’s most successful and best-supported team‚ and one of the biggest not only on the African continent‚ but in world football.
“As we kick-start our 50th anniversary activities‚ we will do so reflecting on an African legacy that continues to go from strength to strength over the years.
"We stand on the shoulders of giants and it will be a year of celebration and appreciation of the role played by so many in the club’s success‚ and also a time of exciting evolution as the club embraces the future‚” Jessica Motaung said.
Chiefs have launched a striking 50th anniversary logo and also an iconic commemorative jersey‚ in partnership with its technical sponsor Nike.
The new classic all-black jersey‚ with its gold V-neck and gold band around the sleeves‚ is a tribute to the club’s formative years in the 1970’s‚ and a nod to the city of gold in which it was established.
The club will pay tribute to its former players‚ long-serving staff and some of its dedicated supporters countrywide in the coming weeks.
The new commemorative jersey is already available to supporters at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena‚ south of Johannesburg.
“The club was very clear and deliberate with Nike when it came to the design and significance of the new 50th jersey‚ which pays tribute to the club’s strong heritage and rich history.
"Turning 50 is a remarkable landmark for us as Kaizer Chiefs.
"We have worked tirelessly through the years to make it the institution it is today and we are happy with the launch of this iconic jersey that we are inspired by our roots‚” said Jessica Motaung.
The new jersey will be worn for the first time when Chiefs host Highlands on Wednesday.
Chiefs will announce further details of its year-long 50th anniversary activities‚ including exhibition matches against some of the world’s biggest clubs‚ photo exhibitions‚ events and historical accounts of the last 50 years.