Chiefs vs Pirates tragedy. How do we prevent this from happening again.

The arts and public policy in contemporary South Africa
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Another soccer tragedy has hit South African soccer. The Soweto soccer derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates that took place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday left two people dead and 20 others injured. It was allegedly caused by fans without tickets trying to gain access to the stadium‚ Stadium Management South Africa said on Sunday.

“At approximately 15h10 yesterday‚ 20 minutes before the scheduled kick-off of the Annual Carling Black Label Cup at FNB Stadium‚ a small group of un-ticketed members of the public (meaning without match tickets)‚ despite the presence of members of the SAPS and private security‚ forced a number of emergency gates open in a rolling wave breaching the perimeter gates gaining illegal access to the Stadium‚” Stadium Management SA said in a statement. However‚ it dismissed claims of a stampede.

“One of the emergency gates that was forced open was between turnstile 14 & 15. It is our understanding that the VOC Commander‚ Lt Col Kraemer‚ was present at the scene at the time. As the gate flung open due to the pressure of these people pushing on the gate – chants of ‘push –push –push’ were heard by eyewitnesses – the people pushing at the front of the gate fell over and the people from behind literally clambered right over them‚ causing blunt force trauma injuries in doing so‚ therefore it will be incorrect in stating that this was a stampede as a stampede is a wild sudden mass panic of a number of people in the same direction‚” it stated.

But how do we prevent this from happening again and improve local soccer?

Kickoff magazine Editor Sibusiso Mjikeliso Says “Basically, the control of SA football, when it comes to security, match management and organisation needs to be taken from the hands of a few. This calendar year has showed two examples where security was lax and scant attention was paid to the safety of the fans: the first was the Sundowns vs Pirates league game at Loftus and the second is the CBL Cup. Both incidents were avoidable. There has to be a truly independent body that deals with punitive measures for clubs who are involved in such incidents. How long has it taken the PSL to take action against Pirates and Sundowns for the incident that happened months ago? Set an example, play the next Soweto derby behind closed doors. That will send a massive statement.”