The Soweto Derby
Did you know?
Kaizer Chiefs owner, Kaizer Motaung, was selected for the North American Soccer League All Star team in 1975.
The Soweto Derby between Chiefs vs Pirates makes for one of the biggest derby matches in the world. Whenever there is an imminent clash between the two soccer giants, the excitement on the streets of Soweto and townships as far as Gugulethu in Cape Town are abuzz with speculation.
The Soweto football derby always attracts a full house be it at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg or the Absa Stadium in Durban. Both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates boast fans all over the country and any match involving the two teams seldom has empty seats.
In November 2007, on the day before the 2010 FIFA World CupTM draw in Durban, the Kaizer Chiefs vs Pirates soccer match at the ABSA Stadium in Durban was broadcast live to thousands of television viewers across Africa and Europe, a first for South African football.
Moroka Swallows, another soccer team from Soweto, enjoys a relatively smaller support base than Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. The 'Dube Birds' who run under the catchy phrase ‘Don't follow me, follow the Birds', is one of the oldest teams in South Africa. The soccer club was formed in 1971 and the team became the first-ever South African soccer team to register as a public company. It was also the first club to wear a full uniform in 1954.
A Soweto football derby between Moroka Swallows and either Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates also draws much talk. The rivalry between Swallows and the two Soweto teams, however, is not as fierce but the games are equally interesting.
The rivalry between the three Soweto soccer teams hasn't come up with a clear winner − yet. The battle for supremacy in Soweto has been raging for years with each Soweto Derby producing a different winner almost every time.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
South African Football Association
Tel: +27 (0)11 567 2010
How to get here
The Soweto Derby is usually played in several cities, despite the teams hailing from Johannesburg. There are scheduled flights and a reliable bus service to these cities if one wishes to watch a Soweto Derby.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is in the Premier Soccer League season between August and May the following year.
What to pack
If you have sensitive ears, bring earplugs as these matches get very raucous.
Get yourself a vuvuzela if you want to fit in at the matches.