It has been 11 months since the dreadful scenes which marred the encounter between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium occurred, and there is yet to be a verdict on who the guilty party was.
The incident which occurred on February 11, saw predominantly disgruntled Buccaneers fans invade the field as violence ensued, leaving several fans injured.
But despite the severity of the case and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) stating that the matter would be brought in front of the PSL Disciplinary Committee following an investigation into the chaos, a decision is yet to be made.
However, Dr Irvin Khoza’s latest remarks could possibly indicate that there could finally be an end in side, although it seems the ‘Iron Duke’ who currently occupies the role of chairman of the PSL alongside his other position of being the Sea Robbers’ chairman, has hinted that Masandawana could find themselves in hot water.
Khoza believes that because Pirates were the visiting side, they could not control what had occurred as they were not responsible for security on the day.
“We are waiting,” Khoza told the media on Wednesday. “We have to understand that there are some very interesting challenges, and we are happy that there is this inquiry into the Sasrea Act (Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act)," he said.
“Let me give you a scenario. In the football hierarchy the match commissioner has got the final say during a [PSL] game, but also the match commissioner has the power of intervening. If there is chaos on any side of a stadium - he can direct the deployment of interventions,” he explained.
“But the Sasrea Act says that if the game has been categorised the national commissioner appoints an authorised person to be in charge of the safety and security planning committee. Then you have got the VOC [Venue Operations Centre] commander. And he now is in charge‚ over-riding the match commissioner,” he continued.
“Now you can imagine how difficult it is. Here are people trying to scale the fence‚ and you are waiting for the VOC commander to say‚ ‘deploy’. The match commissioner can’t deploy, and now you as a club, are left on your own. You cannot do anything, and now you must go and answer with the rules of the league,” he lamented.
“But more importantly, there is this issue of the home and away team. How do we hold the away team responsible if the security is not sufficient by the home team? It can’t be right because you are not part of that plan‚ and the preparation of that plan. I am not talking about the outcome. I am just saying that these are the things that are challenging [in the case]‚ and we need to find a way to deal with them, because you must apportion the responsibility properly. Because if you don’t do that, you are going to remain in court forever,” he added.
“These are some of the things we raised. We said‚ ‘Let’s clear this matter once and for all. Put the responsibility on who is responsible for security, because it’s nice to say‚ ‘The visiting team‚ your supporters were… but you don’t have control as the visiting team. Whether the plan was sufficient or not‚ you don’t know,” Khoza concluded.