Kaizer Chiefs are a South African football team from the Soweto region of the South African capital, Johannesburg. They were founded on the 7th January 1970. Kaizer Chiefs are undoubtable South Africa’s most successful football club. Also, they are the countries most supported team with an estimated 16 million fans being spread over South Africa and it’s neighbouring countries. Kaizer Chiefs are also an extremely famous named club in England after Leeds based indie band named themselves after the club due to former Chiefs player Lucas Radabe transferring directly between the two clubs.
The Chiefs were founded by Chincha Guluva, a South African who appeared in the North Americam Soccer League for the Atlanta Chiefs and were one of the first South African clubs to become a professional outfit. This enabled the Chiefs to commence an extremely successful period that saw them win almost 80 trophies in just 36 years. The highlight of this period came during the 2001/02 season where they lifted the CAF Cup Winners Cup, the Vodacom Challenge trophy, the BP Top Eight and the Coca-Cola Cup. Traditionally the winners of the CAF Champions League (known as “The Mandela Cup” after political leader Nelson Mandela) enters the Super Cup against the CAF Champions League victors. Kaiser Chiefs matched up against Egypt’s Al-Ahly and were later crowned “CAF club of the year”.
A club with such a vast success within their domestic competitions can normally expect success within their continental competitions. However, Kaizer Chief’s attempts at African competition have been opposed by bans from the CAF (Confederation of African Football). In the absence of CAF competition Kaizer Chiefs copmete in the Vodacom Challenge that sees the Chiefs and their long time Soweto rivals the Orlando Pirates compete with a respected European club upon invitation. The Chiefs are four times victors of the Vodacom Challenge, most notably in 2006 when they defeated a Manchester United team.
As mentioned previously, Kaiser Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates are fierce rivals with both clubs located within the Soweto region. This fiercely contested match is the highlight of the South African season and is renowned for attracting large attendances, consistently higher than the average Premier Soccer League match. Often the match becomes a decided as to the league title winners. Over thirty-four matches between the rivals the Chief’s have won twelve matches, drawn twelve and lost just ten.
Kaizer Chiefs play the majority of their home matches at the Amakhosi Stadium. In early 2010 ground renovations were completed in readiness for the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. The 55,000 seater stadium is now owned by the Kaizer Chiefs making it the first stadium to be owned by a South African club. The Amakhosi Stadium is being developed at a cost of R1.2 billion. The stadium will later play host to other sports such as South Africa’s most popular two sports, Rugby and Cricket as well as including a large retail development. Kaiser Chiefs will use their new stadia as a platform to develop their youth development programme helping to ensure the long term future of the club.