THE pitch invasion by Orlando Pirates supporters‚ during the Bucs’ disastrous 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend‚ has angered South Africa’s Cabinet.
Cabinet said “such behaviour and acts of hooliganism brings the sport into disrepute‚ reflects negatively on the country‚ the Cabinet and requires stringent action from soccer authorities‚ that must act swiftly to ensure such acts are not repeated“.
Earlier this week‚ Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema also weighed in on the crowd behaviour.
“We don’t agree with violence. Even this thing of Pirates was not correct. Pirates is a big club and must be respected‚” he said.
The PSL match was delayed for an hour in Pretoria on Saturday after Percy Tau’s 82nd-minute sixth goal sparked a pitch invasion first by Pirates’ fans‚ then those of Sundowns in response‚ resulting in fist-fights‚ violence and injuries.
The players‚ coaching staff and benches of both sides sprinted for the safety of the change-rooms.
After the PSL’s security officials were overwhelmed an SA Police Services armoured vehicle entered the pitch and teargas and stun grenades were fired.
The match resumed after the delay‚ and was completed‚ but only after fans were treated for injuries by paramedics on the field.
The Premier Soccer League has also “strongly condemned … the acts of hooliganism by some of the fans“‚ and apologised to all the supporters and stakeholders – those who were at the stadium and also those watching on television. The PSL said: “Such behaviour at our stadiums is a bad advert for our football.”