FIFA president Gianni Infantino has described the feeling of attending his first Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday as “incredible”.
Infantino arrived on the day of the Derby on Saturday and waved his hands to greet fans around the stadium, accompanied by CAF president Patrice Motsepe, Chiefs marketing manager Jessica Motaung and Sports minister Zizi Kodwa to attend the most-loved game in the domestic calendar for the first time.
Pirates deservedly beat Chiefs 1-0 with a goal scored by Evidence Makgopa in the 20th minute of the game, tucking away a cross by Bandile Shandu from close range.
The result meant that Pirates ended their five-match losing streak to Chiefs in the league and also moved past them on the DStv Premiership log.
“It was an incredible experience in this Soweto Derby,” said Infantino after the match.
“It was the first for me and the fans were incredible. I mean, two teams were fighting until the end and Orlando Pirates won.
“But Kaizer Chiefs put on really [a fight], but it was a great game. The most emotional was what was happening on the field – we went to the public in the stadium, full house, incredible.
“I had forgotten how emotional this stadium is and also the city. I mean, I was watching this morning when I arrived [on Saturday] everyone was looking forward to this game, so it was a great game, great atmosphere, passion – incredible and incredible fans.
“You have to continue with your colleagues to have this fantastic work.”
Infantino was in the country to watch the African Football League final and hand over the trophy at Loftus Stadium on Sunday, where Mamelodi Sundowns beat Wydad Athletic Cup 2-0 in the second leg and 3-2 on aggregate to win the inaugural tournament that was played by eight teams.
The AFL is widely regarded as “the brainchild” of Infantino, while CAF president Motsepe said the money earned in the competition will be distributed to all 54 member associations for development in Africa continent.