Benoni Premier United –
On my last day in
While I had expected a lot of away supporters, I have never seen this: in and around the Germiston Stadium the vast majority of the supporters were Pirates. Everywhere you saw the black and white outfits and it took me quite some time before I had figured out the colors of Benoni (white-blue). South African fans can be very colorful, but the Pirates fans are among the best.
We entered the ground some 20 minutes before the game, sitting us ground in the grass. Germiston Stadium has only one (covered) stand, one of the long sides, and the rest of the stadium is just a grassy hill. It felt almost like a picnic. All in all I estimate that some 15.000 people had made it to the stadium, ca. 90% of them Orlando Pirates supporters! During the whole game I couldn’t find any other whites than us, except for the referee. Still, we felt very safe and various black supporters clearly appreciated that we (whites) had come to the stadium; particularly because one of my colleagues was wearing a Pirates t-shirt. Interestingly, while Pirates and Chiefs are the main rivals in South African football, various people walked around in their Chiefs shirt and some even danced and cheered with the Pirates fans. You wouldn’t see that in much of
The game started fairly disorganized with a lot of heart but very little mind. In this orgy of rash challenges and failed passes, The Pirates scored a decent 0-1 around the 10th minute, to the great delight of the vast majority of the audience. After that the disorganized struggle continued, leading some 15 minutes later to the less greeted 1-1. During almost the whole first half the fans were cheering, dancing, laughing, and blowing their vuvuzela (a kind of plastic trumpet which makes the sound of a horny bull, if you can play it —which I can not). 1-1 was also the half time score.
From the beginning the clouds had been moving ominously into our direction and some ten minutes before half time the temperature was dropping significantly while the wind was picking up. Thousands of supporters made their way to the one covered stand, while my company was slowly but steadily starting to make their way out of the stadium. While