CAPE TOWN – It took them more than a year, but the Premier Soccer League finally took action against Orlando Pirates for the violence that took place at Loftus Versfeld during their clash against Mamelodi Sundowns in February 2017.
On Tuesday, the PSL announced that their disciplinary committee (DC) sanctioned Pirates to playing two matches behind closed doors – with one of those matches suspended for 24 months.
The Buccaneers were also ordered to play the costs of the sittings of the disciplinary committee.
The sanctions come after spectators forced their way through barricades to get on to the field as Sundowns thrashed Pirates 6-0 on February 11, 2017.
The match had to be stopped and ambulances treated injured fans on the pitch.
Television coverage was also disrupted as cables were pulled apart, as Pirates fans tried to accost then-interim coach Augusto Palacios, who was safeguarded by security.
“In the disciplinary committee’s opinion, the sentence was warranted because of the seriousness of the misconduct,” read the PSL statement.
“In addition, the disciplinary committee was of the view that a sanction of this nature is the only way in which the fans of the club could be punished simultaneously with the club, for their errant behaviour during football matches.”
But whether the sanctions were harsh enough is questionable, considering the damage that was done.
Pirates have just two home matches left this season: against Wits on April 25 and Free State Stars on May 12, the final day of the league, and announced later on Tuesday afternoon that they will play the Wits match behind closed doors.
* This story has been updated.