Kaizer Chiefs

Brief History on the Team

Dubbed as the most supported team in South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs is a football club based in Naturena, South Africa. The club which was founded in 1970 has gone on to become one of the most decorated football clubs in South Africa.

Kaizer Chiefs was founded by Kaizer Motaung, a man who once played for fieriest rival Orlando Pirates. Kaizer Motaung started his footballing career playing for Orlando Pirates. However, in the late sixties, he became one of the very first black South African players to travel abroad and play for the Atlanta Chiefs in the now defunct North American Soccer League. Upon his return home, he decided to form a football club of his own.

The football club that was founded by Kaizer Motaung was known as Kaizer XI. In its early days, the club just played social games with reserve teams and other social teams. However, Motaung working with other football greats such as the late Gilbert Sekgabi, Rabelani Jan Mofokeng, China Ngema, and Clarence Mlokoti decided to turn Kaizer XI into a professional soccer team. The team quickly rose up the ladders and became part of the highest tier of South African football that is, the National Soccer League (which was later revamped in 1996 to become the Premier Soccer League).

Ever since its promotion to the first tier of South African football, the team has never been relegated but rather, it has become one of the biggest brands in South African football. The club now prides itself as the most supported club in South African and the wider southern African region. On average, 14,000 spectators watch Kaizer Chiefs matches.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Kaizer Chiefs nowadays is its rivalry with Orlando Pirates. The rivalry largely stems from the fact that these two teams all hail from Soweto. Owing to this, the need to claim bragging rights as the best football team in Soweto makes the match between these two teams (often referred to as the Soweto Derby) a great spectacle.    

Major Accomplishments

Kaizer Chiefs rank as one of South Africa’s most decorated football teams. Since its inception, the team has won the league on 13 occasions with four of those coming in the Premier Soccer League era. The team has also finished in the runners-up place on five occasions the most recent one being the 2019/20 season.

Kaizer Chiefs is the most decorated team on the domestic cup competitions front. The team is the record holder (winners) for the MTN 8, Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup. Kaizer Chiefs has won the MTN 8 on 15 occasions, the Telkom Knockout on 13 occasions and the Nedbank Cup on 13 occasions.

On the international front, Kaizer Chiefs won the African Cup Winners Cup in 2001. In that very same year, the team was crowned as the African Club of the Year by CAF.   

Top Players

Kaizer Chiefs has produced some great footballing stars. Some of these include Doctor Khumalo, Siyabonga Nomvete, Steve Komphela, Shaun Bartlett, John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, Gary Bailey, Patrick Ntsoelengoe, Lucas Radebe and Neil Tovey.