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Thu Apr 24 05:42:47 SAST 2014

Buck doesn't stop here, claim Pirates

MARK GLEESON | 05 October, 2012 06:150 Comments
MTN 8 Quarter Final: Orlando Pirates v Bloemfontein Celtic
Fans during the MTN 8 Quarter Final match between Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium
Image by: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

A BID by Orlando Pirates to absolve themselves of responsibility for their rioting fans will be heard today and the outcome could have a fundamental impact on safety at football grounds.

The SA Football Association's appeals board will sit in Johannesburg to hear Pirates question whether they are directly responsible for the actions of their fans - particularly at matches at which they are not in control.

PSL rules currently state that clubs are liable to be punished if their fans misbehave - both in and outside the stadium.

Pirates face heavy fines in several cases, including the Telkom Knockout final and after winning the league in Durban in May when celebrating fans invaded the pitch.

Pirates have already been fined in one of three cases.

The Premier Soccer League has suspended all cases involving charges of spectator misbehaviour pending Pirates' appeal.

"It is only proper that until the appeal board [of Safa] decides on whether we have been giving a proper interpretation to this rule or not, all pending disciplinary matters be suspended awaiting that decision," said PSL head of legal affairs Ntsietso Mofokeng.

Pirates are challenging the interpretation of the rules that they are strictly liable for the conduct of their spectators.

If Pirates win, it reduces a heavy financial penalty on the club and, potentially, other teams with similarly large support.

But it brings into question who takes responsibility for stadium security and who is liable should things go wrong.

The PSL's decision this week to lay charges against individuals involved in the assault on Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens and the damage to property at Dobsonville stadium can also be seen in this light.

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Buck doesn't stop here, claim Pirates

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Thu Apr 24 05:42:48 SAST 2014 ::