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Wed Apr 23 08:46:56 SAST 2014

Pirates' fine appeal put on ice, for now

MARK GLEESON | 09 October, 2012 06:100 Comments
Absa Premiership: Bloemfontein Celtic v Orlando Pirates in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Rooi Mahamutsa of Pirates
Image by: Loren Battersby / Gallo Images

ORLANDO Pirates' appeal against a hefty fine for the misbehaviour of their spectators was not heard as scheduled on Friday because "not all the parties attended", the SA Football Association said.

The controversial bid by the champions to get off having to pay an effective R350000 fine for spectator misbehaviour at last year's Telkom Knockout final was due to be heard by Safa's appeal board.

But the hearing has been postponed and a new date must now be set, a spokesman said. Exactly who did not pitch up for the hearing was not disclosed.

Pirates are challenging the rule that makes them responsible for the behaviour of their fans both in and out of the stadium, whether they are in control of stadium security or not.

It is an important test case that could alter the levels of responsibility for stadium security and affect perceptions of a safe environment for spectators at PSL matches.

Bucs have been clocking up the fines over the past two years for repeated incidents in which their fans have either invaded the pitch or thrown objects onto the turf.

The appeal has led to the postponement of two more prosecutions against the club, which could put their total fines over the last 24 months close to R1-million.

Pirates were given a suspended R50000 sentence last year when a fan threw porridge at a match official at a game in Durban. Then, the club pleaded guilty.

Two months later, after a crowd invasion when they won the league at the Orlando stadium, Pirates were fined R150000, of which two-thirds was suspended.

They had to pay R100000 because their previous suspended fine from the porridge incident became immediately payable.

Also ordered was a public apology, at which Pirates owner Irvin Khoza said "it should not happen in the future". But the incidents have continued.

This year they received yet another fine for a bottle-throwing incident.

It took almost six months for the case to be concluded.

That cost them R50000, plus another R50000 from the previous suspended sentence.

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Pirates' fine appeal put on ice, for now

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