Sun­downs could be charged for breach

Or­lando Pi­rates,

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Aweek af­ter the vi­o­lent events at Lof­tus Sta­dium in Pre­to­ria, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is yet to act.

The league could not pro­vide clear answers as to who should shoul­der the blame for the in­ci­dent that saw Or­lando Pi­rates sup­port­ers in­vad­ing the pitch when their team was trail­ing 6-0 to Mamelodi Sun­downs. This re­sulted in the game be­ing sus­pended for more than 30 min­utes.

PSL spokesper­son Lux­olo Septem­ber said it would be un­fair to ap­por­tion blame to any­one or to spec­u­late at this point.

“There is an on­go­ing process [cur­rently with the prose­cu­tor] – let us give space to that process.

“It would be un­fair of the league to spec­u­late about this. The league process will be fol­lowed. If the prose­cu­tor is of the view that there is mis­con­duct, there will be charges and the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee will deal with the mat­ter. As re­gards to other types of fault, there are, no doubt, var­i­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the go and there will be com­pet­ing views. To have a view now would not only be in­ap­pro­pri­ate, but un­fair.”

Septem­ber said no one had been charged yet and that they would await the prose­cu­tor’s di­rec­tion on the mat­ter.

But ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Soccer League hand­book, which was adopted in Novem­ber, Mamelodi Sun­downs could be charged for Or­lando Pi­rates’ sup­port­ers’ be­hav­iour (see box).

It is the home club’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity at its venue, ir­re­spec­tive of sup­port­ers’ af­fil­i­a­tion.

But the league has dis­cre­tion to pros­e­cute the vis­it­ing mem­ber club when its spec­ta­tors are re­spon­si­ble for im­proper con­duct.

Septem­ber said three cases – pub­lic vi­o­lence, ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty and pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty – had been opened.

“The case of stolen prop­erty re­lated to a cell­phone that was later re­cov­ered and the per­son was ar­rested.”

He said the league had learnt a valu­able les­son from the in­ci­dent.

“Safety is non-ne­go­tiable and it is es­sen­tial to do our best to re­main as vig­i­lant as pos­si­ble and to learn con­tin­u­ously – and to seek to en­gage other stake­hold­ers if we can. There is a na­tional law deal­ing with safety for a rea­son.

“It is not an easy mat­ter to deal with and we will no doubt al­ways be ac­cused of not do­ing enough. Our aim is to do our level best to find ways to deal with this sort of con­duct. If this mat­ter teaches us some­thing, it is to keep do­ing that – to lis­ten to other views and to in­crease our ef­forts.”

He said the game was given a Bcat­e­gory (medium risk) sta­tus “based on the de­ci­sion of the po­lice in line with Safety at Sports and Recre­ation Events Act 2 of 2010 sec­tion 6(7)(a) – (u)”.

Low risk is when the event or­gan­iser (club) does ev­ery­thing that re­lates to safety and se­cu­rity and only in­forms the po­lice.

Medium risk en­tails the po­lice tak­ing the lead on safety and se­cu­rity, and the or­gan­iser help­ing the po­lice achieve their man­date.

High risk means that, af­ter get­ting the cat­e­gori­sa­tion from the SA Po­lice Ser­vice, the or­gan­iser must ap­ply for a high-risk safety cer­tifi­cate from the na­tional com­mis­sioner. The po­lice take the lead on safety and se­cu­rity and the or­gan­iser helps the po­lice to achieve their man­date.

PHOTO: SYD­NEY SESHIBEDI / GALLO IM­AGES

NO-GO AREA pitch Or­lando Pi­rates sup­port­ers could not con­tain their anger at Lof­tus and in­vaded the

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