Motaung lashes out at Derby Critics
Posted: 19 February 2010 Time: 1:53 pm
Kaizer Motaung has lashed out at the Soweto Derby critics saying the criticism that it has lost its spark has reached a point of "worry and disgust".
The club's executive chairman writes on his weekly column on the club's website that the Derby between his club and Orlando Pirates is still a "must-attend".
"The weekend Derby has once more come under attack from prophets of doom who are hell-bent on diluting its significance even before the kick-off. Over some time, the prophets have dismissed its rich history and every drama associated with it to a point of worry and disgust," Motaung says.
He continues, "For us who have a natural knowledge of the event and its obvious impact on our society, we remain convinced that its character and its unique settings, makes it a must-attend occasion in any calendar of sports worldwide. The problem with the destructive soothsayers is that they are only one-dimensional in their pedantic assessment of the derby and in the process they miss some other aspects that make it interesting."
Motaung further draws similarities with European derbies. "Looking abroad, the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City attracts interest although Manchester City has never lifted a League trophy in 42 years, since 1968.
"The AC Milan and Inter Milan derby similarly draws larger attendance and interest, whether the teams are lying somewhere in the middle of the log or not. Truth is the whole of Milan and Italy will be abuzz with pre-match activities, with punters exchanging both thought and currency in different corridors.
"This proves that the derby can still be a big occasion regardless of the fact that the two teams may not be fighting for league honours at the time it is staged. In addition, the derby remains by far the most hugely marketed event when compared to other matches.
"In South Africa however, there is a contingent of critics that undermine the significance of the derby by judging it on the basis of goals and thrills anticipated in the field. These have gone on to sway public opinion in the direction that best serves their interests without allowing the public an opportunity to make its own judgments. Incidentally, the unfortunately diluted 2010 Derby has already been sold out," he says.
Shall we then leave it to the players to prove tomorrow that it is still worth all the hype, Mr. Motaung?