PSL considers fencing fans off from the action again
THE reintroduction of crowd-control netting at football stadiums was mooted at a Premier Soccer League management meeting on Monday following the weekend's vuvuzela attack debacle.
Fresh security concerns were raised on Saturday when a pitch invader attempted to strike referee Lwandile Mfiki with a vuvuzela draped with a Kaizer Chiefs flag during an Absa Premiership clash between Lamontville Golden Arrows and Amakhosi at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Chiefs and the PSL quickly condemned the act and two supporters have been charged and each was released on R500 bail.
The league conceded that its security department had taken a huge knock this season, with the issue of unruly behaviour by Mamelodi Sundowns fans earlier in the season resurfacing.
"We are looking at all remedies of crowd control and curbing pitch invasion during our matches. In our management meeting it was suggested that maybe we should revisit the possibility of (crowd control) fences," said the league's head of communications, Connie Motshumi.
This method was used at the old Orlando Stadium in the 1980s.
A debate on whether to ban vuvuzelas from stadiums was also on the agenda. However, a backlash is feared.
"If the vuvuzela is banned, what are the repercussions?" Motshumi asked. "A few objects are now suddenly being used as weapons at the stadium."
Last week, Orlando Pirates fans hurled the plastic object at coach Roger de Sa to show their displeasure after a 1-1 league draw with AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Following the fan violence aimed at forcing Sundowns to fire former coach Johan Neeskens, the PSL doubled up on security, Motshumi said.
"Our match stewards are no longer watching games but watching the crowd. We are also aware that one person can't handle a hundred supporters."
The Sundowns hooliganism in September led the PSL to threaten that it would crack down on and could ban supporters who disrupted matches when they were unhappy with their teams' performances.