Posted in News on Feb 17, 2002.
Three local sides are involved in African Champions League and African Cup Winners Cup assignments and their continental sojourns could impact heavily on their already tight domestic programme.
Orlando Pirates will be attempting to emulate their 1995 feat when they conquered Africa with a first round African Champions League tie against Reunion giant killers St Louisienne at home on the weekend of March 10.
The following weekend they line-up against their traditional rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium, then leave the country to fulfill their second leg fixture against the islanders in Reunion on March 22.
Santos will play SuperSport United at Greenpoint Stadium on February 27 but will have enough rest before tackling Mozambican outfit Maxaquene in a first round African Cup Winners Cup fixture at home on March 10. The second leg tie is scheduled for Mozambique in a fortnight.
But it gets tougher for Kaizer Chiefs who are going through one of their worst spells in the 33-year history of the club.
Kaizer Motaung's team tackles Ajax Cape Town at Ellis Park on February 27. Then start the defence of the Nelson Mandela Cup with a home fixture against US Transfoot from Madagascar at Ellis Park on the weekend of March 10.
As if that is not enough, they have a potentially explosive grudge assignment against Sundowns at the same venue three days later, before tackling traditional rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium four days later!
And, in between that, they're expected to make the journey to Cairo for the African Super Cup final against Al Ahly on March 15.
And Motaung's battle weary soldiers will not have enough time to rest as they are expected to pack their bags and leave the country immediately for a second round date against US Transfoot in Antananarivo on March 22.
On their return from Madagascar, they have an assignment against AmaZulu in Durban on March 31 and, perhaps the PSL are playing a cruel joke on Kaizer Motaung's team because the provisional fixture have them lining up against Free State Stars at Ellis Park the very next day - April Fool's Day!
How is Amakhosi expected to play in Durban and then 24 hours later face Free State Stars in Johannesburg is beyond me, unless perhaps there is an added energy giving supplement included in the staple pap produced by their new sponsors Iwisa, otherwise I don't see them lasting the distance with that kind of programme.