Soccer

Soccer Scene: Deal with fans or risk a calamity

The behaviour of Downs supporters a cause for concern.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen, again.

Since Mamelodi Sundowns announced that their fans wearing yellow T-shirts would be allowed into the stadium free of charge to create an intimidating atmosphere for the visitors during home CAF Champions League matches, things have gone haywire.

The so-called fans, whose behaviour led to ugly scenes when they forced their way into Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville during Sundowns’ 3-1 MTN8 semi-final second-leg aggregate loss to archrival neighbours Super-Sport United a fortnight ago, must be stopped in their tracks.

It was not the first time, and I bet you it is bound to happen again. Downs are the first port of call when it comes to ensuring top-notch security is in place during their games, as the rules say, Lucas Moripe Stadium is their home ground.

To say things have since gotten out of hand is an understatement because unruly rogues take advantage of the situation even during Absa Premiership games, where they are expected to pop out an entry fee of R40.

It’s the Brazilians’ prerogative to provide their fans with free entry to their CAF matches, but some of the scumbags, masquerading as supporters, are taking advantage of the offer, thus abusing the gesture, especially when coming to PSL games, where they are expected to pay.

The club’s branch chairmen should go on a nationwide education drive to drive the point home that the free entry is exclusively for selected
CAF matches.

The club must announce timeously as well, if the fans would be walking in free of charge, in future.

We had the Brazilians playing their first round, second-leg tie of the CAF Champions League against Cote d’Or of Seychelles at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday, and there was no official announcement that entry was going to be free.

This brings to question where was the club and the PSL security personnel if hotheaded and reckless so-called fans can effortlessly bypass security as it happened two weeks ago.

But the rules go on to further state that the PSL must also ensure adequate security is in place. We’ve had the Orkney and the Ellis Park disasters, and now lo and behold, we are courting another calamity. A catastrophe, if the partners don’t nip such behaviour in the bud.

I see Sundowns have this week announced they moving back to Loftus Versfeld in the Pretoria CBD.

Downs are set to return to town after moving several fixtures from Lucas Moripe Stadium to the rugby venue. These include category A, high-profile matches involving Kaizer Chiefs‚ Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates. The venue change has been ratified by the PSL. A total of 10 games have been moved to Loftus Versfeld‚ which has always been the club’s alternative home ground.

It could be that security at Loftus is more stringent, or maybe personnel of both the club and the league can manage the crowds better in central Pretoria than in Atteridgeville. That said though, we’ve had destructive marauding fans invading the pitch twice in the past at Loftus, so the chaos cannot be pinned to the location of the venue. It’s all because of the mindset of the so-called fans, who leave home with the sole
intention of gaining free entry or bust. I rest my case.