Absa Premiership

The PSL's anniversary of shame

Orlando Pirates fans (Gallo Images)
Orlando Pirates fans (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - It could appropriately be termed an anniversary of shame as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continues to drag its heels in finalising disciplinary action in regard to the rioting that took place at Loftus Versfeld a year ago when Mamelodi Sundowns clobbered Orlando Pirates 6-0 amid the ugliest scenes of violence at a local game in 2017.

Nine months after the event in November the PSL's Disciplinary Committee belatedly found Pirates guilty of the field invasion of a veritable army of frustrated supporters, promising a decision would be announced by the end of the year in regard to sentencing.

The DC also reserved making any pronouncement over whether Sundowns as the home club would also be deemed culpable of the ugly fracas which resulted in the match being halted in the 82nd minute and then only completed more than half-an-hour later, with this decision revealed simultaneously with the sentencing of Pirates.

Four months later and still nothing on either of these issues, which a statement from the DC claimed was the mind-blogging issue of "some spectators running onto the pitch."

Some spectators running onto the pitch indeed!

Top TV announcer Robert Marawa saw it another way, suggesting indignantly that "the cops present were apparently not trained to deal with such riots - no more than staring at grasshoppers while lives were at risk."

A PSL spokesperson, meanwhile, has explained that the long delay in finalising the Pirates-Sundowns case while dozens of other disciplinary matters were duly put to bed was the result of the legal representatives of the relevant clubs requesting time to gather further evidence.

A year and more and still gathering evidence? As the expression goes, there is something smelling in the state of Denmark - and it's not the famous cheese for which that country is famous.

And, also reeking an unpleasant odour is the failure to apportion blame and take positive action over the overcrowding rumpus at FNB Stadium during the Carling Black Label pre-season warm-up clash at FNB Stadium seven months ago between traditional rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Pirates when two spectators tragically lost their lives and all those concerned with match - and the government as well - have been passing the buck from one to another like a hot potato.

Notwithstanding this, let's hope a few lessons have been learnt about crowd control when the intense Soweto rivals come head-to-head at FNB Stadium again on Saturday afternoon!