Perpetrators were youths in “isolated incident” according to Safa presidentThe South African Football Association has condemned “in the strongest of terms”, the attack last night on the Zambian football team bus by two youths who have since been apprehended by the police.
The incident happened as the Zambian national team bus was leaving Soccer City where they had just won the Nelson Mandela Challenge after beating Bafana Bafana 1-0.
Two youths, aged 12 and 13 were immediately detained and are being held at the Booysens Police Station and investigations in a case of malicious damage to property have been opened. The security around the team was the high level security that the SAPS and Traffic Police provides to all visiting teams.
Safa President, Kirsten Nematandani, who has since apologised personally to his Zambian counterpart, Kalusha Bwalya reiterated his disappointment at the incident.
“Kalusha understood that this was an isolated incident. Our relationship with Zambia goes beyond the sporting fields. South Africa and Zambia have a bond which dates back to the days of apartheid in which most of our fellow South Africans were harboured by our Zambian counterparts,” said Nematandani.
“Such an embarrassing behaviour is alien to the South African Football Association and damages the good name of our association and country. We do not want at any time to be associated with these scoundrels of society,” said an irate Nematandani.
“Such people do not belong to the football family and once the investigations have been concluded, the police should send out a strong message against future perpetrators.”
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Local Organisation Committee CEO Mvuzo Mbebe also condemned last night’s attack but added that such an isolated incident should not in any way harm the tournament preparations, which he said were going smoothly.
“We are disturbed by this incident which is totally an isolated one. South African fans do not behave like this and are known to take defeat in good spirit.
“This country has hosted numerous international events and we have not experienced such conduct,” said Mbebe.