Kaizer Chiefs have denounced the fan viciousness that emitted at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.
Boss fans went crazy after the group’s 2-0 misfortune to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, as security protects were ambushed, parts of the stadium were burnt, communicated hardware was vandalized, and players and authorities were pelted with rockets among the disorder.
Violence then spilled outside the venue, with two arrests since being made.
Coach Steve Komphela stepped down in the wake of the defeat, having endured persistent calls for his head from some supporters during his three-year trophyless reign at Naturena.
The incident comes less than a month after unruly behaviour in the stands followed the Glamour Boys’ 3-0 league loss to Chippa United at FNB Stadium, which earned the club a R250 000 fine from the PSL, with R200 000 suspended for a 24-month period.
Their Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates were also last week ordered to play two matches behind closed doors owing to hooliganism during a 6-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld last season.
Chiefs have now released a statement, which reads: ‘Kaizer Chiefs condemns the unruly scenes of violence that took place on Saturday evening in the strongest possible terms during the Nedbank Cup semi-final match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
‘We appeal to those people involved in the deplorable episode who claim to be our fans to stop this hooliganism immediately. Incidents like those that were witnessed have no place anywhere in our society, least of all football. Acts of this nature endanger the lives of innocent people and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. We shall co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies and the PSL to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
‘Such behaviour goes against the very ethos of what Amakhosi stands for, which is Love & Peace. It besmirches the reputation of the club and the millions of well-mannered supporters who make up the Kaizer Chiefs Family; it brings the game of football itself into disrepute and on a wider scale, it reflects very badly on our people and our country when the footage is disseminated across the world.
‘We understand the passion our fans have for the team and appreciate their sense of disappointment when results don’t go as expected. We share it too. Everybody at the club is working to the best of their ability to bring success on the field and joy to the fans. Sometimes though, despite the best efforts of everyone, things don’t fall seamlessly into place. It is very difficult to always achieve the perfect combination. It is the nature of sport that nobody wins all the time and accepting defeat graciously with dignity is one of the principles that underpin the virtue of sportsmanship.
‘We pride ourselves on having knowledgeable fans and we respect their right to express their dissatisfaction with the team’s performance. However, venting frustration through rampant thuggery is totally unacceptable. The key tenet of loyalty is showing unity and standing together in solidarity when the going gets tough. The support of fans has a tremendously positive effect in boosting the confidence of the players, particularly during a slump. Some of the world’s greatest clubs have endured lean spells during which silverware has temporarily dried up but they have come back stronger than ever. We need everybody pulling in the same direction and we therefore implore all of our supporters to calm down and get behind the team for the next three matches of the season.
‘Once again, Kaizer Chiefs does not condone any acts of violence.’
Earlier this month, Chiefs supremo Kaizer Motaung spoke of how he still gets harrowing flashbacks of the Ellis Park Stadium Disaster, in which 43 fans lost their lives during a Soweto Derby 17 years ago. It is South Africa’s worst sporting tragedy.