Unruly fans face PSL bans
THE Premier Soccer League has lost patience with unruly soccer fans.
Yesterday, the league threatened to clamp down on supporters who disrupt matches in attempts to voice their displeasure with their teams' performances. Individuals could be handed lengthy bans from stadiums, the PSL said.
"Following the incidents and unruly behaviour at our stadiums during the last few weeks, we have decided to take tough measures to stop this behaviour by a faction of supporters at our games," said PSL head of stakeholders and communications Connie Motshumi.
"We are considering a number of ways, including introducing stiff penalties such as individual bans, naming and/or showing pictures of those responsible for instigating unruly behaviour at the stadiums."
The new stance taken by the league comes after disturbing scenes at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday where Mamelodi Sundowns hosted Maritzburg United for their third Absa Premiership match of the season.
Sundowns suffered a shock 2-1 defeat, prompting irate fans to call for coach Johan Neeskens to be fired as they tried to force their way onto the pitch.
The Sundowns supporters chanted former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane's name, suggesting that he should be next in charge. The police had to be called in, with Neeskens escorted out of the venue.
The scenes in Atteridgeville came on the back of two alarming incidents in local football over the past two weeks.
Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will face a PSL disciplinary hearing on Friday because their supporters have been accused of throwing objects, including firecrackers, onto the pitch after their exit from the MTN8.
Responding to chants that he should pack his bags, Sundowns coach Neeskens said he understood the supporters' frustration.
"I think like everybody I am frustrated and disappointed that we lost. (But) if the fans think there should be another coach, then that is up to the board. I will continue to fight, I want to come out of this. But I can't do it alone, I need all the support and my players need to take responsibility," the Dutchman said.
Sundowns fans are used to resorting to violent antics, hoping that that will result in the coach being sacked by club president, Patrice Motsepe. And he's often heeded their appeals.
Henri Michel left the same venue in a police van in 2009 when the angry mob demanded his resignation. Antonio Lopez Habas, now at Bidvest Wits, vacated his post at Sundowns in similar fashion in January last year.