'No smoking at FNB please ...'

STADIUM Management South Africa (SMSA) are introducing a clampdown on smoking at FNB Stadium and other facilities that they manage to create a more friendly environment to cater for children and people with a phobia for cigarettes and dagga.

The long-overdue total smoking ban will be applicable during the Soweto derby tomorrow, where Kaizer Chiefs welcome perennial rivals Orlando Pirates at 3.30pm.

This ban will come as a big relief for many people as some supporters used to openly smoke cigarettes, cigars and marijuana - even in the presence of children - and tend to resort to violence if other people complain about their behaviour.

"FNB Stadium has (introduced) a strict no smoking policy and fans are urged to adhere to such restrictions within the stadium," said SMSA chairman and CEO Jacques Grobbelaar, whose company also manages Orlando, Rand and Dobsonville stadiums.

Top soccer fan Freddy "Saddam" Maake welcomed the ban, saying it will help in terms of increasing attendance at the stadium. "We will appreciate it if other stadiums also introduce a similar ban. They can introduce a smoking zone so that there are no disturbances between smokers and non-smokers ..." Saddam said.

"It is also good to see more white people beginning to come to the stadiums. Sport - and soccer in particular - has helped to unify our beautiful nation."

Grobbelaar also announced that preparations for the derby were going according to plan. Gates will open at noon.