Absa Premiership

Classic case of Animal Farm in the PSL

Johannesburg - Whoever said justice delayed is justice denied had never heard of our beloved Absa Premiership.

This week, the league proved it really is just like George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

It was a case of better late than never when it took the league 14 months to finally punish Orlando Pirates for the mayhem their supporters caused at Loftus in 2017. And it was a case of striking the iron while it was still hot when the league quickly slapped Kaizer Chiefs with a fine less than two weeks after the crowd incident at FNB Stadium.

This begs the question: Just how do the wheels of justice turn at the PSL headquarters?

Competition organisers ordered that Pirates play two games behind closed doors - the implementation of one has been suspended for 24 months - as punishment for the events during the game against Sundowns in February last year.

“In the disciplinary committee’s opinion, the sentence was warranted because of the seriousness of the misconduct. In addition, the disciplinary committee was of the view that a sanction of this nature is the only way in which the fans of the club could be punished simultaneously with the club for their errant behaviour during football matches,” it said.

Chiefs faced charges of spectator misbehaviour resulting from the club’s failure to provide adequate security.

The disciplinary committee handed a R250 000 fine to Amakhosi, of which R200 000 was suspended for 24 months on condition they are not found guilty of a similar offence during that period. In essence, Chiefs were only fined R50 000 - a slap on the wrist, if you ask me. What about the supporters who caused this mayhem?

This was after a section of Chiefs fans proceeded to throw objects on to the field at the players and coach Steve Komphela, chanting “Steve must go”, after Chiefs’ 3-0 defeat to Chippa United.

The two incidents were all about supporters’ misconduct and hooliganism, which has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. But the sanctions were poles apart.

The common denominator in both instances is supporters’ misbehaviour. Then why two different punishments?

Pirates’ supporters invaded the field, which led to the game stopping for a few minutes, and Chiefs’ supporters pelted their players and coach with missiles.

Our supporters are used to getting away with murder. Why do we always resort to violence when we are not happy?

Look at the protesters in Mahikeng, North West, this week - they burnt buses and a clinic and stoned cars. In other areas, they also burn libraries and schools. Why are we such a violent nation? How long are we going to continue to damage our own things? After we’ve destroyed the little we do have, we have the audacity to complain that we don’t have resources.

Back to football matters. Pirates will suffer without their supporters in their game against Bidvest Wits as they are challenging for the top league honours and need all the support they can get.

But the supporters brought this on themselves. I still believe one game is not enough for the damage they cost at Loftus when they resorted to violence to stop the game when their side were being hammered 6-0.

I think the league has sent a clear message that it will not tolerate such behaviour in future. However, the same should have been done regarding the impassioned and angry Amakhosi supporters.

They got away with murder and I think they will resort to the same behaviour when things don’t go their way in future.

I’m not saying that what happens on the left should automatically happen on the right, but some 'animals' are not more important than others.

Follow me on Twitter @TimspiritMolobi