No place for violence in football – Irvin Khoza

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JOHANNESBURG, April 23 – In a media address at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) headquarters at lunchtime on Monday, chairman Irvin Khoza condemned the violence which took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

This followed the ugly scenes in Durban on Saturday night after Kaizer Chiefs lost 2-0 to Free State Stars in a Nedbank Cup semi-final and fans stormed the field after the full-time whistle.

Running battles, subsequently broadcast around the world, were witnessed on television and by those in the stadium who captured the terrible scenes on their cell-phones and posted footage to social media. Security guards were attacked, broadcast equipment destroyed and fires lit in the stands. And while there have been no reported casualties, approximately 20 people were injured according to Khoza.

Khoza started by clarifying that a security guard, who was captured on video being beaten up by a mob, had not died, as some reports online had stated. He also read out a list of those who suffered injuries on Saturday night.

The Orlando Pirates boss spoke of his concern over the general levels of increasing violence in the broader society in South Africa.

“The league is shocked and deeply concerned about the acts of violence and criminality that occurred after the final whistle at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Nedbank Cup semi-final between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars,” Khoza said.

“I want to make it loud and clear that there is no place, no justification for violence in football, or in our society. The damage that these senseless acts of violence cause, take more than a generation to correct.

“These acts are not coincidental. They are deliberate, pre-mediated and orchestrated by people, whose aim is criminality, infringing on the majority who are peace loving and law abiding.”

In a broad statement which he read, Khoza made mention of a wide range of safety and safety-related issues associated with football matches in this country.

He also said that he was not at liberty to discuss what potential punishment Chiefs could receive, stating that this is a matter for the Disciplinary Committee rather than the Executive Committee.

ANA