Stadium disaster averted

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

As Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates flogged each other during their 0-0 Absa Premiership draw last Wednesday, wave upon wave of supporters came pouring into Super Stadium.

The match kicked off as scheduled at 7.30pm, with the venue still half full, but halfway through the first half, there was suddenly no room for people to sit and those observing the situation started to see a stampede in the making.

Though quick police intervention ensured nothing negative came off it, reports of aggressive behaviour by supporters who were being turned away by security personnel started to filter into the stadium and a catastrophe was avoided.

Super Stadium normally houses 30000 spectators, but for now has a capacity of only 22000 as the northern side is still closed.

PSL general manager Ace Ncobo this week explained that he knew about the situation, but that the league did not have full control over where matches were held.

"Without abdicating responsibility, league matches are club events so it is difficult to take full responsibility.

"We are awaiting the contractors' certificate before we can open that portion of the stadium," Ncobo said.

"It must also be taken into consideration that we do not have venues at the moment as most of them are getting revamped for the World Cup."

Ncobo said Sundowns had anticipated the situation and had then tried to move the Category A match to the much bigger Loftus Stadium in Tshwane, but due to a variety of reasons thay failed to secure this bigger stadium.