PSL again shifts blame for chaos
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) yesterday continued to shun responsibility for the chaos that took place at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, with chairman Irvin Khoza putting the blame squarely at the door of the SA Police Service (SAPS).
Kaizer Chiefs were, as expected, charged with bringing the league into disrepute and will appear before a disciplinary committee on May 3, the PSL announced yesterday.
There was a warning sign that the emotions of the Amakhosi fans could boil over after their loss to Chippa United at FNB Stadium two weeks ago.
But the Nedbank Cup semifinal clash between Chiefs and Free State Stars this past weekend in Durban was categorised as a "medium risk" event, and this may have compromised security and led to fans causing mayhem, injuring security guards and damaging TV equipment following Amakhosi's 2-0 loss.
Khoza, however, sought to absolve the PSL of any blame as he addressed a press conference yesterday.
"An increasing and incorrect expectation on the part of SAPS and commanders is that the private security and safety stewards must carry out the constitutional responsibilities of the SAPS," he said, also apologising for the incident.
"From the league's perspective, once crime or acts of
unlawful public violence are being committed in their presence, the SAPS are required to be ready to act.
"It must be remembered that private security are not police officers and do not have the power of arrest," he said.
Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung also condemned the chaotic scenes, saying in a statement: "Acts of this nature endanger the lives of innocent people and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
"We shall co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies and the PSL to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book." But such hollow statements will be scant consolation to the many fans who have suffered serious injury due to hooliganism.
Khoza revealed one PSL sponsor had offered to compensate the injured, while reports also stated that Blaine Josephs, founder of the Billion Forex Group, had offered to pay security guard Sabela Maziba his annual salary after he was assaulted at the venue.
Remarkably, Khoza did not give any commitment as to when the probe into the matter would be concluded after all repors have been submitted. He only said the league would brief sport minister Tokozile Xasa, who has demanded immediate answers.