Spurs currently have a 23 man squad in South Africa for a prestigious mini-tour, which will feature two matches.
Tomorrow (Saturday 26th July) they will play the Orlando Pirates, and on Tuesday (29th July) they meet the Kaiser Chiefs. Spurs Odyssey is fortunate enough to have a correspondent in South Africa - Ralph Hohls, who has provided us with a detailed preview of the tour, and the matches.
Ralph will provide exclusive reports on both the games, but both will be filed after Tuesday's match.
· Orlando Pirates History/Preview
· Kaiser Chiefs History/Preview
Here is Ralph's article giving the background to the tour and both the oppisition teams:-
Most people abroad may know the famous South African clubs Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, unfortunately because of the tragic incident, which occurred on the 11th April 2001. It has been marked as the darkest day in South African sports history. In an incident not dissimilar to the horrific Hillsborough disaster in the UK, 43 people lost their lives and many fans were injured when Orlando Pirates FC and Kaizer Chiefs locked horns at Ellispark stadium, in Johannesburg.
Quite coincidentally, and rather Tottenham / Arsenal-like, Tottenham’s 2 opponents on this tour of SA, are also bitter rivals from the same town in Johannesburg. Both Pirates and Chiefs are from Soweto on the outskirts of Johannesburg, The 2 teams were actually ONE club at one stage before Chiefs broke away to form their own club, Kaizer Chiefs.
Anyone you speak to in JHB is either a Buc (Pirates fans are called Buccaneers) or the AmaKhosi (Chiefs supporter), however, I have NOT seen the same sort of all-out rivalry that exists between the likes of the Tottenham and Arsenal supporters. Having said this, I have not been to many local football matches myself, so cannot comment with too much experience.
The venue for the first match on the 26th, is ABSA stadium in Durban (home of the Natal Sharks rugby team). Durban is on the East coast of South Africa, about 600kms from Johannesburg. The East coast is the warmer, more humid coast of South Africa, whereas Cape Town is far colder, windy, and more European-like in terms of winter weather. It’s basically mid-winter now and you’ll still find daytime temperatures getting into the 20’s…I trust the travelling Spurs will be pleasantly surprised. It’s likely to be cooler than currently in the UK , I would imagine!. As I said, Durban and Cape Town are at the coast so the lads will be playing at sea-level. The grounds are primarily rugby stadiums, and the capacities of both are around 50 – 60 000.
The 2nd match on the 29th, is in Cape Town, at Newlands stadium. It’s also a rugby stadium, the home of the Stormers or Western Province (for those rugby enthusiasts). The winds can swirl quite severely at times in Newlands, which could make for an interesting footballing experience… bring your Macs an scarves!
I would expect there to be more Pirates fans than Spurs fans at he game, but the Supporters Club has been inundated with calls from local Spurs fans wanting to go to the game. However, the game will be televised on the local SKY SPORTS equivalent, known as Supersport, so it’s possible some may stay home to watch.
This is a very important step in South Africa’s attempt to land the 2010 World Cup. We have tried before and failed but I think our time is coming. Personally, choosing Gary Mabbutt as ambassador was a very smart move. Obviously, it helps us from a Tottenham perspective. We are very excited to see the Spurs squaring up against SA’s 2 strongest and most famous sides. I would think that Tottenham will win comfortably, however, as has been proven in the past, it’s not so easy to play down in South Africa, and the massively partisan support for the local team, can often swing things in favour of the local boys! Of course, we like to see a hard fought contest, with Spurs coming out on top both times.
Pirates are the reigning Premier league champs, and also the side I support locally. They will be up for this challenge, having been in Durban for preparations since Tuesday.
Kaizer Chiefs on the other hand, have recently returned from a tour to Korea, and were even considering withdrawing from this tie, due to fixture congestion. I suspect they may be a bit more tired, and the Spurs could quite possibly walk this one. They do say though, Never write off the Amakhosi !!
My predictions for the 2 matches are:
26th: Orlando Pirates 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
29th: Kaizer Chiefs 2 – 4 Tottenham Hotspur
I will send through match reports as soon as I am back from my tour to Cape Town.
(Copyright of this compilation is claimed by Ralph Hohls)
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