It’s not all about money – Pirates
Orlando Pirates will host the MTN8 Soweto derby at Orlando Stadium due to the home advantage.
JOHANNESBURG - Football fans are split over the decision by Orlando Pirates to hold the upcoming MTN8 Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs on Heritage Day at the Orlando Stadium rather than the much larger FNB Stadium.
FNB Stadium has a capacity of 90,000 and can hold about double the number of fans.
The larger crowd would mean far higher takings for Pirates, but this is not the team's priority, Public Relations Officer Mickey Modisane told The Midday Report.
"The issue here is not all about money. I think the issue here is all about us winning the match. It's all about the bragging rights once more."
He says Pirates has a lot to prove at this time.
"We haven't done well in the past season, we didn't even collect a single trophy. This time around we are presented with an opportunity, what are we going to do; are we going to take our match to our rivals?"
While many fans on twitter are arguing that the home advantage is a right for Pirates, many others recall the Ellis Park and Oppenheimer Stadium disasters of 2001 and 1991 respectively.
More than forty people were killed in stampedes during both matches between the Soweto giants.
Modisane says there is no need for concern.
"There are measures that we are going to put in place ensuring that those fears … are somewhat alleviated and dealt with."
Some supporters are also complaining that t icket prices have increased for the second leg of the MTN8 tournament, some arguing this is to make up for the smaller capacity of Orlando Stadium.
But Modisane insists money is not the goal and their only concern is winning the game for the sake of their fans.
"What is important for the club is to make sure that supporters of the team - spiritual owners of the club - once more enjoy those bragging rights. That is priceless."
The game will kick off at 3pm on Tuesday 24 September.