Will Pirates pay for hooligans?

ORLANDO Pirates' appeal against a fine for fan rioting is due to be heard today with its outcome set to sort out a backlog of similar cases.

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 of the security operation.

PSL rules state that clubs are liable to be punished if their fans misbehave - in and outside the stadium - but the league champions are challenging the fundamentals because they feel they should not always carry the can for miscreant behaviour in the stadiums.

Pirates face heavy fines in several cases, including the last Telkom Knockout final and when they won the league in Durban in May where 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 have been put on hold.

The PSL has suspended all cases involving charges of spectator misbehaviour pending the outcome of the Pirates appeal.

"It is only proper that until the appeal board decides on whether we have been giving a proper interpretation to this rule or not, then all other matters that are pending the DC will thereafter start giving the interpretation as pronounced by the appeals board," said the league's head of legal affairs, Ntsietso Mofokeng.