Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung has urged the club’s supporters to stay away from the Moses Mabhida Stadium for Saturday’s league game against Polokwane City in Durban.
The Amakhosi have to play two Absa Premiership matches behind closed doors in KwaZulu-Natal – with a third suspended for 24 months – following the crowd violence in April after the Nedbank Cup semi-final defeat to Free State Stars.
Fans damaged the stadium and attacked security personnel as the situation descended into chaos as Chiefs lost 2-0, which saw Steve Komphela resign as the coach.
Chiefs play many of their home games in KZN, like they have in Cape Town and other cities previously, due to their large supporter base around the country.
But on Friday, Motaung issued a lengthy statement criticising the behaviour of those fans in April, and insisting that no one should arrive at Moses Mabhida on Saturday evening for the 6pm kickoff.
The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 4.
“We hope this sanction is a learning to the fans. Such behaviour goes against the very ethos of what Amakhosi stand for, which is Love & Peace,” Motaung said.
“It besmirches the reputation of the club, sponsors and the millions of well-mannered supporters who make up the Kaizer Chiefs Family; it brings the game of football itself into disrepute.
“And, on a wider scale, it reflects badly on our people and our country when the footage is accordingly disseminated across the world.
“As promised at the time, changes have been made to the team and results have been coming. Everybody at the club is working to the best of their ability to ensure on the field success and to give joy to the fans.
“We call on supporters in Durban and surrounding areas to not come anywhere near the stadium to ensure the smooth running of the proceedings.”
After an unspectacular start to the season under new coach Giovanni Solinas, Chiefs found their groove and pulled off three consecutive victories.
Solinas was disappointed, though, with Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Highlands Park at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, and will hope to bag the three points against Polokwane City on Saturday.
And Motaung promised the KZN fans that they would be able to watch Chiefs play live in the region later in the season after their two-match sanction is completed.
“The support of our fans always has a tremendously positive effect in boosting the confidence of the players, particularly in Durban, and the team will most certainly miss this boost,” the chairman said.
“There will be more home games in Durban this season and our people will get to see their favourite team live.
“Acts of violence have no place in our society, least of all football. Acts of this nature endanger the lives of innocent people and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
“Once again, Kaizer Chiefs does not condone any acts of violence and, please remember, we are a peace-loving group of people.”@ashfakmohamed