Kaizer Chiefs and Siphiwe Tshabalala fanbase reaches Mexico


Kaizer Chiefs is undoubtedly one of the most supported clubs in Africa but recently it's been apparent the fanbase has infiltrated North America in a truly remarkable story.

If you were completely oblivious that Chiefs fans outnumber any football club support base in South Africa, once you enter the realms of social media, there's absolutely no hiding from the fact.

The results and success of Amakhosi can spiral into waves of negativity or euphoria in a split second as the 2019/20 Absa Premiership finale so aptly showcased. It takes split second for the Glamour Boys to trend and even quicker for news to disperse amongst the fanatical fanbase.

Amidst the views and opinions, emerged a rather peculiar account on Twitter named 'Kaizer Chiefs Mexico', who many believed was simply a troll or banter account, for a lack of a better description.

But snl24.com/kickoff opted to reach out to the account holder to find out, who, what and why there's a supporters page emerging 16,549 km away from Soweto.

And surprisingly, a 21-year-old native of Tijuana, on the borders of California, Adrian Ochoa responded and detailed how exactly he fell in love with the most decorated club in South African football history.

"It all started in 2010, I was 11 years old and I didn't really like football," Ochoa explained about his first-ever FIFA World Cup experience for the opening game at FNB Stadium.

"But the passion of the South African people, the vuvuzelas and the great game that the Bafana Bafana did, I really liked. [Siphiwe] Tshabalala scored a great goal and he was my first ever idol.

"I [then] did research on the South African teams and seeing the Kaizer Chiefs crest I fell in love. I liked the colours and learned a bit about their history."

Scroll through the gallery to see the new home and away Chiefs kits for the 2020/21 season

Asked whether he's able to keep up with the team Ochoa admits he's hit several brick walls in his attempts to follow to Absa Premiership.

"This year was the first time I got to see the team live because I found several places where there are game streams. Before I had to watch Chiefs summaries on YouTube or read reports on blogs," he said.

"I really like South African football and I want all the teams to do well, mainly in the CAF Champions League so that they leave the name of South Africa high.

"But none compares to Chiefs. There is only one Kaizer Chiefs, the team of my heart since 'Shabba' left I have taken to players like Leonardo Castro because he is Latino like me but I also love Khune still even though he doesn't play now, he's a legend."

As much as Chiefs bring joy, hope and boost morale to their ever-explaining fanbase, the pain they have endured has also been felt on the other side of the globe, admits the Mexican.

"It was a terrible day [losing to Mamelodi Sundowns] I don't want to remember it again. It is impossible to explain how and why the title was lost. The last time I felt like this was when Mexico lost to the Netherlands in Brazil 2014.

"But with Gavin Hunt. I am very excited, in a coach who knows what it is to be successful, he won titles in most of the clubs he has worked with. I think it is the best decision the board could make. I am sure it will give us many joys."