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    14 June 2023

    SAFA condemns violence and gunshots at lower division playoff match

    South African Football Association Condemns Violence at Play-Off Match

    Following a controversial play-off match with gunshots fired in Pietermaritzburg, the South African Football Association (SAFA) has condemned “hooliganism and thuggery” that marred the event. Orbit College secured promotion to the second tier of South African football by defeating Umsinga United in their ABC Motsepe play-offs semi-final on Friday.

    The Aftermath of The Game

    What was supposed to be a joyous moment for both teams turned into chaos when security forces had to fire shots into the air after gunfire and objects were thrown during a pitch invasion. SAFA President Danny Jordaan expressed his disappointment over what happened and called for harsh punishment towards those involved.

    “What has happened is totally out of order, it is to be rejected and condemned,” he said. “The perpetrators and guilty parties must be dealt with harshly, but we must wait for the report.”

    A Case of Attempted Murder?

    Colonel Robert Netshiunda of KwaZulu-Natal police revealed that they are treating this case as attempted murder. He added that although there were many people present at the stadium, their investigations would lead them towards making arrests based on sufficient evidence gathered from eyewitnesses or anyone who can provide information about what transpired during this violent incident.

    “There were so many people in the stadium so for us to locate who could have fired the shots is not an easy thing to do. The investigation in ongoing,” he said.

    Safety Concerns After Violence Erupts

    The incident has raised concerns over safety at sports events, especially with South Africa bidding to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup. Orbit coach Pogiso Makhoye expressed his concern for school-going children who could have been caught up in such violent scenes.

    “Parents have given us their kids, so they’re worried. Imagine if tomorrow they say ‘your child is dead, he’s been shot at the national play-offs’,” Orbit coach Pogiso Makhoye told SABC.

    Condemnation from Sporting Governing Bodies

    The Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently condemned a spate of violent incidents at stadia across Africa. This condemnation comes as a blow to South Africa who are hoping to secure the bid for hosting the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

    A Chaotic Scene Unfolds

    Videos and photographs emerged showing objects being hurled onto the field during post-match interviews and warm-downs and a pitch invasion that followed with gunshots heard ringing around Harry Gwala Stadium – home of Premier Division side Maritzburg United which was used as a training base for Paraguay during the 2010 World Cup.

    “Such Hooliganism Has No Place In Football”

    In light of these shocking developments, SAFA described this scene as “chaotic.” They promised to investigate further and ban any individual or club found guilty of promoting violence on football fields.

    “We will vigorously pursue this matter and any individual or club that is found to be guilty will be banned for these senseless acts. Such hooliganism has no place in football,” SAFA said in a statement.

    The incident at Harry Gwala Stadium highlights the need for better security measures and more effective crowd control at sports events, especially where children are present. Authorities should take this matter seriously and ensure all necessary steps are taken to prevent such incidents from happening again.

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