Pirates bid could leave security void
A CONTROVERSIAL bid by Orlando Pirates to absolve themselves of responsibility for their rioting fans will be heard today and the outcome could have a fundamental impact on safety at football grounds.
The South African Football Association's appeals board is to sit in Johannesburg to hear Pirates question whether they are directly responsible for the actions of their fans, particularly at matches at which they are not in control.
Currently PSL rules state clubs are liable to be punished if their fans misbehave - both in and outside the stadium.
Pirates face heavy fines in several cases, including the Telkom Knockout final and after winning the league in Durban in May when celebrating fans invaded the pitch. Pirates have already been fined in one of three cases, but feel they should not be held directly responsible and because of their appeal, two other cases against them are still to be determined.
The PSL has suspended all cases involving charges of spectator misbehaviour pending the outcome of Pirates' appeal.
"Until the appeal board (of Safa) decides on whether we have been giving a proper interpretation to this rule or not," all pending disciplinary matters will be suspended, said PSL legal head Ntsietso Mofokeng.
The PSL said today's determination by the appeal board might affect the cornerstone of its policy to charge clubs for their supporters' misbehaviour. If Pirates win, it reduces a heavy financial penalty on the club and, potentially, other teams with similarly large support. But it then brings into question who takes responsibility for security and who is liable should things go wrong.