The reigning PSL Champions will begin their quest for African glory when they welcome the Namibian outfit, Black Africa this coming Saturday, 8th February 2014. Chiefs’ African expedition is dubbed ‘Living the African Dream’, and if the Amakhosi’s current domestic league form is anything to go by, the supporters must anticipate a thriller when the flags of the two neighbouring states, South Africa and Namibia are hoisted at the FNB Stadium.
“Everybody must be excited to see Chiefs back in the continental showpiece. The last time we played in the Champions league was when we lost in the third round against Esperance of Tunisia after brushing aside Mauritian side AS Port Louis 2000 and USJF Ravinala from Madagascar, and that was in 2005.
Before that we played in the Champions League back in 1993 beating the Botswana side Lobatse Gunners in the first round and breezing past the difficult Rwanda’s Kiyovu Sport before bowing out of the competition on the away goal rule to the Egyptian giants Zamalek.
Of course most people will remember that have some African footprint when it comes to CAF competitions. We won the 2001 CAF Cup Winners’ Cup (Nelson Mandela Cup), the forerunner to the Confederation Cup tournament and also the African Club of the Year in 2001,” said the Amakhosi‘s Corporate Communications Manager, Vina Maphosa in high confidence.
Namibian football will not be a stranger in the minds of the Amakhosi faithful considering that engraved in the history books of Kaizer Chiefs appears a household name of Herman "Pele" Blaschke, a Namibian professional footballer who played as a winger for Kaizer Chiefs between 1970 and 1974. ‘Pele’ also played for Miami Toros in the North American Soccer League. ‘Pele’ played alongside the Executive Chairman Kaizer Motaung and rose to be Namibia's greatest export. Coincidentally ‘Pele’ played for Black Africa in the late 60’s.
“The Namibian players are speedy, that I know for sure. It is a pity that I am living in South Africa at the moment and do not know much about the current state of the Namibian league. But watching Chiefs these days gives me confidence that they boys will do well for as long as they use their skills profitably. The players must be brave and take on their opponents, they have skill to do so, on one on one they must not play back pass, and they must go forward. I think Chiefs has what it takes to do well in this competition (CAF Champions League),” said ‘Pele’.
The other players from Namibia that have donned the Gold and Black are Robert Cosmo Nauseb. The Otjiwarongo born midfielder played for the Amakhosi between 1997 and 2001. Then there was Mohammed Charles Ouseb, a defender, born in Tsumeb, Namibia played for Chiefs in from 1998 to 2001.
“The preparations for the game are at an advanced stage and the football followers are urged to buy their tickets on time to avoid disappointment. We need the support of every sport lovers irrespective of which team or sport they follow. We must create the vibe and intimidate the visitors from the stands. The 12th player in the stands will give the players an edge over their opponents. The Chairman (Mr Kaizer Motaung) has called on everyone to rally behind the Team on Saturday,” continued Maphosa with supreme confidence.
The tickets are sold at Computicket and Shoprite/Checkers outlets nationwide at a cost of R40 and R10 for children accompanied by an adult. Gates at the iconic FNB Stadium, in Nasrec near the historic Soweto Township will be opened at 17:00.
Kickoff is at 20:00.