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Opinion: Chiefs and Pirates failing SA football?

Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have always had the responsibility to maintain and uphold the standard of South African football, based on their huge following. 

It goes without saying the Chiefs and Pirates are the most supported clubs in the country by far, despite Mamelodi Sundowns' recent success.

However, Sundowns' unparalleled success could be contributing to soccer fans losing interest in the DStv Premiership, as it is becoming too predictable. 

There was a recent study done by sports analytics firm Nielsen Sport, which revealed that viewership of the DStv Premiership matches is declining, including the Soweto derby itself. 

"There was a sense that TV viewership would go up because people weren’t allowed to watch matches live at stadiums, but that was incorrect. The numbers have actually gone in the opposite direction and fewer people are watching football and sport in general on TV," Nielsen Sport managing director Jean Willers said in a report compiled by City Press.

"People have started to lose interest and have moved on to other things. Load shedding also played a huge role last year. When people aren’t allowed to go to stadiums and there’s also no electricity to watch TV, you can expect the numbers to be severely affected. Unless some sort of normality is restored, the research paints a picture of an industry in rapid decline," said Willers.

The main reason could be that there's no longer intrigue on who will win the league, with Sundowns head and shoulders above other teams, including Chiefs and Pirates. 

It becomes obvious that when Chiefs and Pirates are not competing for the league and their fans lose interest, the viewership will obviously plummet. 

And things could get worse, with the Brazilians reportedly on the verge of signing SuperSport United midfielder Teboho Mokoena, arguably the biggest talent in the PSL not playing for the big three, yet.

Mokoena's agent Glyn Binkin has confirmed that they have agreed personal terms with Sundowns and the only remaining thing is for the Brazilians to agree on a transfer fee with SuperSport. 

"We have agreed personal terms with Sundowns and now it is club-to-club discussions over a fee,” Binkin told TimesLIVE.

“Those discussions are also at quite an advanced stage. Sundowns are very keen to bring the player in during this transfer window.”

Chiefs were reportedly in the race for Mokoena's signature but they are seemingly out of the running. 

If Amakhosi and the Buccaneers can't compete with Sundowns for players in the transfer market, they are letting the soccer industry in the country to be in decline, as that results in the Brazilians dominating and the majority (their own fans) losing interest in local soccer. 

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Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns' Nielsen Orlando Pirates SA


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