Violence Ultimatum: PSL Players Threaten to Boycott Games

Johannesburg - Players represented by the South African Football Players’ Union are demanding remedial action to tighten security at stadiums, otherwise they will boycott games to ensure their safety.

In a press statement condemning the recent violence, saying security was of grave concern to the players, making a living through soccer.

Below is the full statement:

“The South African Football Players Union expresses its consternation and disappointment by the barbaric behaviour exhibited by the Kaizer Chiefs fan on Saturday the 21st of April 2018 in Moses Mabhida. 

This is the kind of behaviour that we do not align ourselves with that must be dealt with and given the attention it deserves. It is important to demonstrate the day in question and accountability must be at play.

“We as the South African Footballers Players Union take issues pertaining the safety of the players at stadiums very serious. It is the prerogative of the League and the Stadium as well as the government to make sure that there is compliance with the JOG requirements to make sure that everything goes accordingly on the day.

Crowd Trouble 

“This was a category A game and it is our understanding that in games of this magnitude there should have been an involvement of the Intelligence based on the fact that recently we witnessed stadium violence perpetuated by the Kaizer Chiefs Supporters after their 3-0 loss against Chippa United at the FNB stadium on the 7th of April 2018, as a result, the club was handed a fine of R250 000.00 of which R200 000.00 was suspended.

“The stadium management cannot afford to cut corners on issues of security and our view is that the stadium management and the clubs must be responsible for ensuring that they provide highly competent securities instead of reducing it to volunteers instead of highly qualified trained personnel.

“On the day we saw Kaizer Chiefs supporters acting as football delinquents and this kind of behaviour is primitive and it cannot be allowed to creep into our beautiful game but it must be eradicated with the utmost urgency and the robustness it so deserves before it spreads like bad cancer.

“The hooliganism displayed posed a great threat to the lives of the players and by extension the officials, journalists and the securities themselves who we are the people that expected to serve and protect. We can only hope that no player was harmed on the day but we cannot ignore how some securities were brutalized by the angry fans while they were in the line of duty trying to carry out their functions.

“It’s about time that serious sanctions are imposed on clubs who are found guilty of this criminal practice and not reduce the punishment to a mere fine which gets discounted at the end of the day.

“We hope and appeal to SAFA who is the Federation of football in the country to conduct an intense fully fledged investigation and act accordingly in making sure that there’s compliance on security matters as set out in the international standards.

“We also encourage the law enforcement to act decisively to the perpetrators when found and set an example so that we eliminate this sickening behaviour out of the game once and for all. If we continue to ignore this fundamental aspect of the security in the stadiums, players will have no choice but to boycott games because of fear for their lives.” 

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