FNB Stadium South Africa
The crush occurred as football fans pushed their way through the gates into the 87,000-capacity FNB stadium AFP/Getty

At least two people have died and 17 injured in a crush at a football match in South Africa.

The incident occurred as football fans converged on the 87,000-capacity FNB stadium ahead of the Soweto derby between football clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in Johannesburg.

The crush happened as spectators attempted to push their way through the gates into the stadium.

Public safety official Michael Sun said on Twitter that all gates at the stadium had been opened to "ensure crowd control" and that the situation was later brought under control.

"Situation report from FNB Soweto Derby: Stampede reported with multiple injuries, 2 confirmed fatal," Mr Sun wrote on Twitter.

"Soweto Derby update 2: All gates opened to ensure crowd control, game set to continue, ambulance capacity increased. Situation under control."

One of the 17 injured is in a critical condition BBC News reports.

The pre-season game was broadcast live and officials allowed the match to continue with Kaizer Chiefs going on to win 1-0.

The stadium which was built to host the Fifa World Cup final in 2010, was also the venue for Nelson Mandela's first speech after his release from prison in 1990, and where his memorial was held after his death in 2013.

In April 2001, 43 supporters died in a crush during another match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg.