The burden of leadership – Orlando Pirates belong to everyone
From time to time, the leadership of the Orlando Pirates Football Club find ourselves having to communicate publicly on topics other than those related to football on the field of play. When we do, we do so begrudgingly because of our understanding and respect that the Orlando Pirates belong to everyone. While it is easy for those who have taken sides and espoused causes to make calls and demands, we have no such show. The solutions we seek must be holistic and achieved by putting heads together rather than separating them.
We will not hide behind the facts
It would be easier to respond by simply stating the facts, but that would be contrary to the values of the Orlando Pirates and their rich history. The facts are: Orlando Pirates is taking part in a pre-season camp organized by FIFA’s match agent which includes many clubs from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Orlando Pirates has no role in organizing the event. In fact, Orlando Pirates had to meet criteria to qualify us to participate. Orlando Pirates had no contact with any participating club or the organizers in connection with matches. Fixtures were accessed independently by the regulators. It is an important fact that all participating clubs are subsidiaries of FIFA regulated by the FIFA Statutes.
Orlando Pirates values and rich history
While we could easily have resorted to a response limited to facts about pre-season camp, it is important given the values and history of Orlando Pirates that the club’s position be known. Orlando Pirates is a socially conscious club that fully understands that it is there for the community and community. Orlando Pirates have a record that includes being banned from using government infrastructure because they have formed themselves into a non-racist club against the dictates of the apartheid government – The iconic team made up of change agents: Gert van der Heer, Manny Davis, Hans Moses, Salthil Chuchowe, Dingan Vakathi, Abram Mainline Khoza, Ralph Hendricks, Bernard Hartz, Zero Johnson, Rashid Khan, Smiley Musa, Kaizer Motung, Percy Molloy, Alan Cheye; The non-racial Orlando Pirates refused to participate in the rebel tour staged in defiance of a cultural boycott sanctioned by the apartheid government; The Orlando Pirates leadership had to go into hiding to avoid arrests after refusing to disband the non-racial team in defiance of the apartheid government’s order to do so; Orlando Pirates were at the forefront of forming a non-racial football association in South Africa long before 1994. The repeal of the ban on political organization that led to 1994 was a particularly violent period in South Africa. The Orlando Pirates have joined forces with arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs to prove that differences of affiliation need not lead to conflict and violence. Today, the Soweto Derby is known for its uniqueness in that the supporters of the arch-rival club travel together to the stadiums, sit together, and return home together to live happily until the next meeting. The Orlando Pirates started in the new South Africa and participated in efforts to combat abuse of women and children, and xenophobic attacks on other citizens residing in South Africa; During the unprecedented onslaught of Covid on the nation and the world, Orlando Pirates have joined forces with Kaizer Chiefs and MultiChoice to provide much needed PPE to frontline workers, the South African National Defense Force and the South African Police Service.
The plight of the Palestinians
As a club with its roots in conflict-torn South Africa and an active participant in the dismantling of apartheid, the Orlando Pirates are naturally aware of the plight of the Palestinian people. Among the many forces seeking a long overdue resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Orlando Pirate stands with those who believe there is a way for the brave men and women to continue working together to find the lasting solution that South Africa has proven to the world that it can. It can be found when there is will and courage.
rule of law
The basic performance of the Orlando Pirates is governed by the rules. It’s the rules Orlando Pirates committed when faced with calls to quit playing Maccabi Tel Aviv. There is no cultural boycott or boycott in any way by the South African government, FIFA or the host nation on which Orlando Pirates can base their refusal to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hearing a call from any other body would create conflict within the Orlando Pirates that would irreparably undermine the club’s values and history.