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Thu Apr 24 10:26:07 SAST 2014

Spectator to be charged for attacking ref

Mark Gleeson | 08 April, 2013 08:020 Comments
A fan storms onto the field with a vuvuzela during the Absa Premiership match between Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on Saturday. The man has been charged with assault of the referee

REFEREE Lwandile Mfiki was a little shaken but fine after a spectator tried to hit him during Saturday's game between Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs at Durban's Moses Mabhida stadium, match commissioner Stan Swart said.

The youthful East London-based referee was attacked by a vuvuzela-wielding spectator on an afternoon of controversy as Chiefs lost a chance to extend their lead after a goalless draw.

Mfiki was not hit by the attacker, who sprinted about 100m unnoticed before trying to beat the match official with a green trumpet to which a Kaizer Chiefs flag was attached. He missed and was tackled by two security officials before he took a second swing.

"He was arrested and will be charged. Police took statements from both Chris [Mfiki] and myself," said Swart.

The PSL moved with uncharacteristic swiftness to condemn the invasion of the pitch, releasing a statement just after half-time in the name of acting CEO Cambridge Mokanyane, who was at the game.

He said: "This is completely unacceptable in our football. It does not do us or the image of our football any good when we have fans invading the pitch and others throwing objects. We condemn this in the strongest possible terms. We will wait for a full report from both the match commissioner and the referee, which will be forwarded to the league prosecutor."

Police arrested the supporter who invaded the pitch and charges of assault will be laid against him, said stadium management.

Mfiki's decision to hand Reneilwe Letsholonyane a straight red card started the commotion and was a decision condemned by both coaches after the match. Neither Manqoba Mnqqithi of Arrows nor Chiefs boss Stuart Baxter believed it was an offence warranting that the player be sent off the field.

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Spectator to be charged for attacking ref

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