Are fines enough for hooligan fans?


Early in September Sundowns supporters stormed the Lucas Moripe Stadium pitch after a 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United. This weekend they invaded the field in droves and threw missiles at Johan Neeskens, who had to be escorted off the pitch by police.

For a gallery of the shocking scenes CLICK HERE

In a statement, acting CEO Cambridge Mokanyane says the PSL is "disappointed with the behaviour of some fans yesterday".

"As the PSL, we condemn this kind of behaviour in the strongest possible terms. What we saw on Sunday afternoon at the VW Dobsonville Stadium is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated," Mokanyane says.

"This faction of supporters is letting our football down; their actions are damaging the image of a product which has a reputable name around the world.

"We will not allow this kind of behaviour at our stadiums. The safety and security of both the players and the fans is our priority."

The question is, what will the PSL do to prevent this behaviour from recurring?

Pictures taken after the match show fans blatantly invading the pitch with weapons, threatening the security officers, police and Sundowns management. This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated – and there are clear photographs that the League should make use of to ban the culprits.

Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs had cases of spectator misbehaviour postponed recently, after Pirates lodged an appeal questioning whether the club is directly responsible for the behaviour of the fans.

Perhaps the fines were starting to burn a hole in the club's coffers: Pirates have paid over R350 000 to the PSL in four incidents of spectator misbehaviour since January 2011 – that's not counting the most recent case.

The Buccaneers were again charged after their MTN8 second leg semi-final against SuperSport United on August 25, when their supporters threw objects onto the pitch, resulting in a delay and the injury of a photographer.

Chiefs, meanwhile, have been charged following their MTN8 semi-final clash with Mamelodi Sundowns on August 5 at Loftus Stadium, when they also threw objects onto the field.

The incident prompted Chiefs to make an official plea on their website to their fans to "avoid acts that are tantamount to unsporting behaviour", while club captain Itumeleng Khune asked the fans to stop booing a winning team.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani has also spoken out strongly against the "growing incidents of hooliganism".

"Most people go to watch soccer as a source of entertainment with their families, and they need to be protected from these thugs," Nematandani said in a statement.

"Safa condemns this unruly behaviour unconditionally. Football supporters should learn to respect the outcome of any game.

"We can't allow people to take the law into their own hands, because by so doing they are destroying the 2010 legacy. These unpleasant images are viewed across the globe. They are denting the image of football in the country, hence we say NO to hooliganism.

"The League should go through all available footage and ban for life those involved in such dangerous and unruly behaviour. We should root out this evil before it becomes a monster."

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