British soccer fan off the hook for dressing room incident

2010-06-30 10:04

British soccer fan Pavlos Joseph was a free man after paying a R750

admission-of-guilt fine, the Cape Town World Cup court ruled today.

Londoner Joseph was charged after entering the English team’s

dressing room in Cape Town following a match on June 18.

His advocate, Craig Webster, told the magistrate that Joseph’s

legal team had made representations to the Western Cape Director of Public


These representations had been successful in that the Director of

Public Prosecutions had agreed to allow him to pay an admission-of-guilt


Joseph had paid the R750 on Tuesday for a contravention of section

6, subsection 1, of the Fifa Act, being in a designated area without an

accreditation card for that area.

He asked that the “charges” against Joseph be withdrawn in his

absence. The magistrate agreed. Joseph was not in court today.

Meanwhile, British journalist Simon Wright (44) was released on R3 000 bail after his arrest in connection with the security breach in the England

soccer team’s dressing room, police said.

Police arrested Wright on Monday and charged him with defeating the

ends of justice and contravening the Immigration Act.

Brigadier Sally De Beer said Wright was granted bail when he

appeared in the dedicated World Cup court in Cape Town at 11pm on Monday. He was

due back in court today.

Police believe Joseph’s entry to the dressing room was a plot

“orchestrated” with Wright to paint World Cup security in a bad light.

This was according to national police commissioner General Bheki

Cele, who addressed the media on World Cup security in Pretoria on


“The police have reason to believe that this incident was

orchestrated and involved the co-operation of a number of individuals,” said


Video footage obtained during an initial investigation backed the


After the incident, the Sunday Mirror reported that when Joseph saw

former England captain David Beckham in the change rooms, he said he needed the

toilet, then added: “David, we’ve spent a lot of money getting here.

This is a


What are you going to do about it?”

England had drawn 0-0 with Algeria.

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