Crucial Soweto derby game between Chiefs and Pirates almost sold out two weeks in advance

Clubs claim unprecedented interest as fans surge for tickets way ahead of time to make sure they get seats

Orlando Pirates have claimed an unprecedented surge for tickets for the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs and that 80 000 have already been sold for next month’s match at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

“We are used to having sell-outs for the big Soweto derby against Chiefs,” the club’s website reported.

“But for this kind of rush, almost two weeks before the game, is unprecedented. What is usually the case, is that the fans wait until the last minute to obtain their seats and then there is a mad rush.”

The club said they were expecting the fixture to sell-out within the next 24 hours.

Only expensive reserved tickets, costing R150, and suite packages, were still available.

The derby’s added attraction this year comes from the fact that the two clubs lead the Premier Soccer League standings.

Chiefs suffered their first league loss of the season at the weekend at Platinum Stars ended an 11-match unbeaten run.

Pirates beat Wits 2-0 at home later the same day to move to within one point of the leaders after 12 matches.

“Now we sense the opportunity to reinforce the challenge for a third successive championship,” the Pirates website added.

“A win over Chiefs is likely to restore our position at the top of the log.”

Both Pirates and Chiefs are without a game this weekend but play next week Tuesday and Wednesday before the derby at Soccer City on December 8.