JOHANNESBURG – Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza on Thursday announced a partnership with the South African Police Services.
This comes in the wake of crowd violence at football matches in the country, most recently at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban where Kaizer Chiefs were hosting Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semifinal back in April.
With Chiefs losing 2-0, club supporters invaded the pitch, damaging camera equipment worth thousands and setting the venue alight.
Khoza, in response to those hooliganism acts a few days later, said there was no adequate security to deal with the rampage that unfolded.
Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, joined Khoza at the press conference on Thursday to speak on behalf of SAPS.
“Clubs are going to have to work with the police because there are several issues that we have picked up,” said Khoza.
“We have the SASREA (Safety at Sports and Recreational Events) Act to comply with. This is not just about the redeployment of more police. We are also urging communities to help us and make this easier for the police.”
Cele said: “This exercise must help us shape the future when it comes to sports, especially soccer. As the police we are not going to deal with young people when it only comes to football, but across all sports.
We don’t neccesarily want to see a police parade at the stadiums, but we must find ways to take down the criminal operations. We have to fight and win the battle of keeping the youth innocent.”