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Khoza promises beefed up security for PSL games

Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza has promised to beef up security in the future in the wake of the disgraceful scenes of fan looting and violence at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

Kaizer Chiefs fans went on the rampage after their side lost 2-0 to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi finals, lighting fires in the stands, assaulting security personnel and causing millions of Rand's worth of damage to television and stadium equipment.

Khoza was able to confirm that the security official who had been seen being viciously assaulted on the pitch by supporters was discharged from hospital on Sunday, but said more had to be done in the future to prevent such scenes.

This included providing more and better trained security personnel, and the league increasing their security budget to fund this.

"The league is extremely shocked at the violence that took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. I want to make it clear that there is no place for violence in our stadiums and society," Khoza said at a media briefing on Monday.

"The league takes its responsibilities to secure the safety of the fans, players and officials very seriously. There will be a thorough investigation. We also note the trend of increasing violence at stadiums.

"The league held a meeting [on Sunday] and noted the increasing criminality especially, at highly supported matches and a strong message must be sent to deal with this trend. It cannot be allowed to continue."

Many security personnel at matches are casual workers, hired for that afternoon or night to stand guard - given a bib and told to marshal an area.

They do not have specific training in crowd control or how to deal with incidents as they get out of hand.

Khoza said that the league's immediate actions must remedy a failure to deploy adequate policing, a lack of budget to employ enough security officials at matches and the failure to provide adequate security to prevent, combat and investigate criminality.

He was speaking specifically about personnel at venues both anticipating crowd before it gets out of hand, and preventing it once fans start to riot.

"Once acts of violence are identified, they require adequately prepared security officials to combat the criminality," Khoza said.

He would not comment on the specifics of Saturday's incident, saying due process must be followed.

"It's premature of me to comment on the judicial processes and remedies where Saturday night's incident is concerned."

The league chairman also confirmed that the clubs would hold a workshop to find preventative measures to a growing problem in South African football.

"We will have a workshop with all clubs on how to adequately deal with instances of violence like this to prevent a repeat in the future. Our message to supporters, please don't use violence to vent your frustrations

"Supporters have to manage their expectations. No club goes there intending to lose.

"You can't use violence as a means to show your frustration and the clubs cannot be solely be held responsible. Fans need to use other means to raise their concerns not violence."

The incident on Saturday is the latest in an increasingly tendency for fans to turn violent at matches.

Khoza is also chairman of Orlando Pirates, the club whose supporters went on the rampage during their club record 6-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns in February last year.

It was a similar incident in which security personnel and Sundowns supporters were beaten and fans attempted to cut the television coverage by pulling out cables.

Pirates received no monetary fine, but will play Wednesday's Absa Premiership league match against Bidvest Wits behind closed doors with their fans barred for one match.

Chiefs supporters gave a warning of their unrest earlier this month when they rioted at the end of a 3-0 loss to Chippa United in the league.

The club were fined R250,000 for the incident, of which R200,000 was suspended for 24 months on condition they are not found guilty of the same offence.


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