Hooligans will hear, but not see, matches
TWO POLICE cells capable of holding eight soccer hooligans each have been built at the Green Point 2010 World Cup Stadium as part of the tough security measures being put in place to curb bad behaviour during matches.
Hooliganism at soccer stadiums will not be tolerated and those who misbehave will be locked up, warned the SA Football Association WP president Vernon Seymour.
“It sends out a clear message that when you set foot in this stadium you must behave yourself,” Seymour told the Weekend Argus.
He was referring to the incident last week when Kaizer Chiefs fans went on the rampage at Newlands Stadium in a soccer game against home team Ajax.
Chaos erupted during the MTN8 semi-final. Chiefs have been slapped with a R500 000 fine. An amount of R350 000 has to be paid immediately and R150 000 has been suspended.
About 500 seats were damaged on the grandstand and unruly fans also threw bottles and vuvuzelas on to the field.
One of the city’s 2010 directors, Dave Hugo, said the two holding cells could contain about eight people each. “They will hold culprits temporarily until they are taken to a police station.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Andre Pruis has indicated that as part of security measures all host cities would have a dedicated police station with separate holding cells, a courtroom for speedy judgments and a Home Affairs office for possible speedy deportations.
The Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill is also aimed at improving security at stadiums.
Supporters could face a fine or imprisonment if they engage in delinquent and antisocial behaviour inside a sta- dium venue, or along a route to it – including engaging in racist, vulgar, inflammatory, intimidating, or obscene language or behaviour.
After a meeting with Ajax management yesterday, the CEO of the Premier Soccer League, Kjetil Siem, described the actions of Kaizer Chiefs supporters as “disgraceful” and said he believed the incident would serve as a wake-up call to the possibility of hooliganism during the World Cup.
He said: “With security under the spotlight, the PSL will assist not only Ajax Cape Town, but all our clubs with security planning and deploy- ment around Category A matches. We have already decided to deploy 100 PSL security guards to Cape Town on October 4 when Ajax Cape Town host Kaizer Chiefs in an Absa Premiership clash at Newlands.”
He said they would make provision in their budget for further training in security matters in line with World Cup standards, regular workshops on security and a security manual being developed for clubs and the PSL.
Ajax Cape Town said it would look at increasing security and putting a more stringent management plan in place when hosting games at home after Kaizer Chiefs fans went on the rampage.
The WP Rugby Union has also said that the PSL would be denied games if they did not put proper management strategies in place.
WP Rugby spokesman Gavin Lewis said the repairs to Newlands Stadium were completed earlier this week and the stadium was now “100 percent”.
On Wednesday night Santos played Bloemfontein Celtic at the stadium.
Lewis said they maintained a “very good” relationship with Cape Town clubs Santos and Ajax. “All the repairs are completed and Wednesday’s match went perfectly. We still maintain a good relationship with the clubs and we are ready for three rugby matches today.”
Asked whether they were concer ned about hosting Chiefs, who attract the biggest crowds with a reputation for unruliness, Lewis said: “Our agreement with clubs and organisations is only that we lease the venue. The management is up to them, subject to a proper management plan. In future we would want to address it for bigger matches”.
Ajax spokesman Mark Meyer said they had still not received the bill for damages so he did not know how much they had to pay.
He said the PSL was responsible for last Saturday’s management plan and Ajax had been asked by the PSL which security company they used.
They recommended ADT, who worked alongside traffic and police officials as a joint operations team.
Ajax face Chiefs in October, again in the Absa Premiership.
“We will go ahead according to the plan on paper. We have always submitted management plans when security is our responsibility. We have used ADT for the past 10 years and we have faith in their service. Our plan includes how much security and where they will be situated. When there is an incident, however, it is up to the Joint Operation Centre (JOC), police and traffic included, and they make the call on how a situation will be handled,” Meyer said.
Meyer said they were confident their management plan was sufficient to deal with huge crowds.
“However, if a man is going to pull a chair from the concrete stand, it’s going to take a while to get to him. But we feel our security plan is sufficient with the JOC. We don’t condone this kind of behaviour and we will pay what we need to,” Meyer said.
SIN BINS: These holding cells have been built at the Green Point 2010 World Cup Soccer Stadium for fans who behave like hooligans.