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Sundowns could be held responsible as the home team for the Loftus pitch invasion

Orlando Pirates fans invade the pitch during February's defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Orlando Pirates fans invade the pitch during February's defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza‚ also chairman of Orlando Pirates‚ has hinted that he wants Mamelodi Sundowns to be held responsible as the home team for Loftus Versfeld pitch invasion in February.

The PSL’s disciplinary committee hearing into the pitch invasion – instigated by fans of Pirates when their team went 6-0 down against Sundowns at Loftus in a league match on February 11‚ and leading to violence – has dragged on for 11 months.

When PSL prosecutor Nande Becker has been contacted by SowetanLIVE he has said issues over how much responsibility to apportion to home team Sundowns‚ who were responsible for security‚ and visitors Pirates‚ the instigators‚ have complicated the case.

On November 1 Becker said he had been told by the disciplinary committee chairman that a verdict might be out that week. Two weeks later there has been no outcome.

Khoza‚ speaking after the PSL’s annual general meeting in Sandton on Wednesday‚ said the AGM had resolved to establish workshops to clarify “grey areas” in the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events (Sasrea) Act.

He said of the Loftus DC outcome: “We are waiting.”

He continued: “We have to understand that there are some very interesting challenges. And we are happy that there is this inquiry into the Sasrea Act.

“Let me give you a scenario. In the football hierarchy the match commissioner has got the final say during a [PSL] game.

“But also the match commissioner has a power of intervening. If there is chaos on any side of a stadium‚ he can direct the deployment of interventions.

“But the Sasrea Act says that if the game has been categorised the national commissioner appoints an authorised person to be in charge of the safety and security planning committee.

“Then you have got the VOC [Venue Operations Centre] commander. And he now is in charge‚ over-riding the match commissioner.

“Now you can imagine how difficult it is. Here are people trying to scale the fence‚ and you are waiting for the VOC commander to say‚ ‘deploy’.

"The match commissioner can’t deploy.

“And now you as a club are left on your own. You cannot do anything. And now you must go and answer with the rules of the league.

“But more importantly there is this issue of the home and away team. How do we hold the away team responsible if the security is not sufficient by the home team?

“It can’t be right because you are not part of that plan‚ and the preparation of that plan.

“I am not talking about the outcome.

"I am just saying that these are the things that are challenging [in the case]‚ and we need to find a way to deal with them.

“Because you must apportion the responsibility properly. Because if you don’t do that you are going to remain in court forever.

“These are some of the things we raised. We said‚ ‘Let’s clear this matter once and for all. Put the responsibility on who is responsible for security’.

“Because it’s nice to say‚ ‘The visiting team‚ your supporters were …’ . But you don’t have control as the visiting team.

"Whether the plan was sufficient or not‚ you don’t know.”

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