Not to be confused with the British indie rock band of Leeds by the same name, the Kaizer Chiefs are the most successful team in South African soccer.
The South African Premier Division club was founded in 1970 by South African player Kaizer Motaung, who combined his first name with that of his former North American Soccer League Club, the Atlanta Chiefs.
The Amakhosi, Zulu for “Chiefs,” enjoy such widespread support, an estimated 16 million people, that South Africans often assert that the Kaizer Chiefs don’t play away matches; They always have the majority of fans at games, no matter the stadium.
People love a winner. Scottish manager Stuart Baxter steered the club to double glory last year by capturing the 2012-2013 Premier Soccer League crown and the Nedbank Cup, the South African version of England’s FA Cup. In collecting the trophies, players added to a stunning record of 80 titles in the last 36 years. Indeed, they are on a roll.
The team is driven by South African National Team captain goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, best remembered for sending the country into a festive frenzy when he scored the first goal at FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, a left-footed, thunderbolt into the upper 90 for the Bafana Bafana against Mexico.
Khune and Tshabalala will direct the play dressed in the new home shirt from Nike. It is gold to honor the Kaizer Chiefs’ nickname of “The Glamour Boys,” and unlike past sunburst or striped designs, this jersey is designed with understated elegance.
The Chiefs charges are sure to look glamourous in SPL home games at First National Bank Stadium in Soweto this season, the historic site of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final and Nelson Mandela’s first speech in Johannesburg following his release from prison.
Whether facing the arch-rival Orlando Pirates or pushing forward against other foes, check out the Kaizer Chiefs all season in this shirt.