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Kaizer Chiefs put their 50th anniversary celebrations on hold

24 March 2020 - 15:14 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Kaizer Chiefs German coach Ernst Middendorp is under massive pressure to deliver silverware.
Kaizer Chiefs German coach Ernst Middendorp is under massive pressure to deliver silverware.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs have suspended talks with a number of top international teams that were supposed to come to SA as part of the club's 50th anniversary celebrations.

Chiefs were established on January 7‚ 1970 and had planned to celebrate this milestone throughout 2020 and dedicate the year to honouring its supporters‚ staff and players.

But the club's marketing director Jessica Motaung confirmed that plans to bring several high-profile clubs to SA as part of the celebrations have been put on hold due to the outbreak of the coronavirus that has forced either the cancellation or the suspension of several major sporting events around the world.

“We have been in discussions with international teams coming to SA to play against us‚ even legends‚ but we engaged internally and said to ourselves 'let’s put all these plans on hold until it is possible to continue'‚” Motaung said.

Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have played against top European sides like Manchester United‚ Arsenal‚ Manchester City‚ AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur in high-profile friendly matches over the years but Motaung declined to reveal the names of the international teams they have been communicating with.

“It is important that as an organisation we put all plans on hold until things are normalized.

"It is important to do things differently and be more flexible‚ so we are in a holding space in terms of celebrations but when the time is right‚ things will resume‚” she said‚ admitting that the coronavirus outbreak has slowed down the momentum of their celebrations.

“Certainly some of the momentum has been lost but at the same time we understand that there is a bigger problem and there is nothing we can do about it.

"The issue now is focusing on fighting this pandemic and making sure that everyone is safe and healthy.

"We will continue to engage our supporters through our social media platforms and other means of communications.”

Motaung added that their priority at the moment is to ensure the safety and well-being of the players and staff at Naturena.

“We have great systems at the village in Naturena‚" she said.

"We have great doctors who have come in and spoken to the staff and to the team.

"We have closed our store at the village and we have informed our supporters to use the online platform to make orders.”