Ugly face of SA soccer

2009-08-26 09:34

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) failed to follow its own rules on the night

of shame which saw Kaizer Chiefs supporters vandalise the Newlands Stadium.

Amakhosi lost 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town in an MTN8 semi-final last Saturday, and

their fans vented their anger at the referee and their club by raining missiles

onto the pitch and ripping out chairs. This cost Chiefs a record-breaking fine

of R500 000 imposed this week by the PSL disciplinary committee.

City Press has learned that while the PSL’s rules are clear that the league

should take full charge of security in all category A matches – which includes

all semi-finals – the organisation failed to do so in this instance.

It has emerged that not even a single PSL security official was at the

game.

PSL chief executive Kjetil Siem admitted they did not have security personnel

in Cape Town.

He said, however, they were involved in the planning stages together with the

police and private security firm ADT, and were happy with the arrangement.

Siem said although it was costly to deploy PSL-trained security guards to

Cape Town, they had decided to send two busloads for the upcoming league fixture

between the two clubs.

“It is true that we didn’t have our own trained people at the game, but we

were satisfied with the security plan that was provided to us. But next time we

will send about 100 people to be in charge,” said Siem.

PSL’s new general manager for security, Philip Masimong, told City Press that

what had happened could have been prevented had precautionary measures been

taken.

“It is clear that there were no body searches done, which resulted in people

entering the stadium with bottles. It shows that the security personnel were not

well- trained enough to deal with soccer spectators because bottles are

definitely not allowed in any of our matches,” said Masimong.

However, ADT’s special events manager, Charl Barnard, disagreed, saying there

was nothing they could have done to avert the nasty situation.

“We provided enough security personnel and what happened was very unfortunate

because the supporters reacted to the referee’s decision and we could not

prevent that as and when it happened. But in collaboration with the SAPS and

disaster management, we agreed that we could have had more people,” Barnard

said.

He denied that supporters had entered the stadium with bottles, arguing that

they had bought drinks inside the venue.

Barnard said they had the same arrangement the previous week when Ajax hosted

Orlando Pirates in a league game, and it was fine.

He said it was unfortunate that the general public did not have the same

regard for security personnel as they did for the police.

Barnard said that in future they would apply stringent measures to prevent

similar incidents.

Ajax’s chief executive, George Comitis, said they had deployed sufficient

personnel – 295 security guards and 143 police officers who were sufficient to

deal with the 27 000 crowd.

Masimong said the incident could have been prevented had PSL security been

present.

He disclosed that the league’s security personnel were never part of the

security arrangements at Cape Town matches.

“We don’t have security guys in Cape Town; hence we were not involved in the

planning and operations there.

“We received a plan from a private security company and we went with it,”

said Masimong, who did not attend the game.

He pointed out that this had always been the case in Cape Town and they had

never had any problem with the arrangement.


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