Football Players Union will boycott out of fear if security concerns are not addressed

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JOHANNESBURG, April 24 – The South African Football Players Union has issued a statement in the wake of fans’ unruly behavior at the Nedbank Cup semifinal at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Players Union fear for the safety of the players and said on Tuesday if the situation does not improve there would be no choice but to boycott games because of fear for their lives.

The statement reads: “The hooliganism displayed posed a great threat to the lives of the players and by extension the officials, journalists, and the securities, who themselves are the people expected to serve and protect,” read the statement from SAFPU.

“We can only hope that no player was harmed on the day but we cannot ignore how some securities were brutalized by the angry fans while they were in the line of duty trying to carry out their functions.

“It’s about time that serious sanctions are imposed on clubs who are found guilty of this criminal practice and not reduce the punishment to a mere fine which gets discounted at the end of the day.

“We hope and appeal to Safa, who is the Federation of football in the country, to conduct an intense, fully-fledged investigation and act accordingly in making sure that there’s compliance on security matters as set out in the international standards.

“We also encourage the law enforcement to act decisively to the perpetrators when found and set an example so that we eliminate this sickening behavior out of the game once and for all.

“If we continue to ignore this fundamental aspect of the security in the stadiums, players will have no choice but to boycott games because of fear for their lives.”

– African News Agency (ANA)