Saturday 11 November 2023, 23:00

FIFA President hails “incredible experience” at Soweto Derby on eve of African Football League Final

  • Gianni Infantino praised great fans and atmosphere at Soweto Derby

  • Two-day trip to South Africa concludes with African Football League final on Sunday

  • FIFA President also met with CAF President Patrice Motsepe and South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan, played football with FIFA Legends

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has described attending the Soweto Derby between the Orlando Pirates FC and Kaizer Chiefs FC as “an incredible experience” on the first of his two-day visit to South Africa. The match between the Soweto, Johannesburg-based teams is one of the biggest football rivalries in Africa, and took place in a sold-out FNB Stadium, the venue of the FIFA World Cup 2010™ final.

“This Soweto Derby: it was a first for me,” said the FIFA President after seeing the Orlando Pirates’ 1-0 win. “A full house, incredible crowd. I had forgotten how emotional this stadium is, but also in the city. I mean, I was seeing this morning, when I arrived, everyone was looking forward to this game. So, it’s a great game, great atmosphere, great passion, incredible, incredible fans.”

This week marks a milestone for the beautiful game in South Africa, with the Soweto Derby, and the induction of national football legend Dr. Kaizer Motaung into the South African Hall of Fame.

It wraps up on Sunday with the second leg of the African Football League (AFL) final between South African side Mamelodi Sundowns FC and Moroccan powerhouse Wydad Athletic Club, who will bring the curtain down on the first AFL tournament.

“The African Football League is a great event," told the FIFA President, who will be at the game in Pretoria having also attended the AFL’s opening match in Tanzania last month. “Football has to become much more global than what it is, and football, of course, unites the world. For this, we are here.”

The FIFA President also met with CAF President Patrice Motsepe and SAFA President Danny Jordaan to discuss the development of football in South Africa, and participated in a football match with FIFA Legends, including men and women’s FIFA World Cup™ alumni Emmanuel Amunike, Precious Dede, Gaëlle Enganamouit and Perpetua Nkwocha.