UPDATE: Case opened against Loftus ‘hooligans’

A supporter is treated by paramedics after violence broke out during a Pirates versus Sundowns game. Photo: Supplied

The police are still trying to identify the perpetrators of Saturday’s Loftus Versfeld stadium crowd violence.

Frustrated and angry Pirates’ supporters stormed the field after their team conceded the 6th goal in the 81st minute against Mamelodi Sundowns, clashing with their counterparts.

The police had to fire stun grenades to disperse the mob.

On Tuesday police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said a case of malicious damage to property, assault and public violence was opened.

“No arrest so far. Anyone with evidence should report it to us immediately.”

Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza strongly condemned the violence in a media briefing on Monday.

He said he was disappointed with how things turned out.

“Violence is not an answer. Violence diminishes your reasons no matter how good they are. Now we are talking about violence and not the reasons why you stood up in your seat,” he said.

“Whether it be out of frustration, resignation, a legitimate protest, once it becomes violent, all the reasons are diminished even if they are good or legitimate.”

He called the pitch invaders hooligans.

“Violence in sport, especially football, has got a name around the world. It is called hooliganism. When you participate in violence in sport, you are a hooligan.”

When violence broke out, players and coaches from both sides had to retreat from the field.

About 15 supporters were injured in the process.

Following the incident, many took to social media to voice their opinion.

EFF leader and Pirates fan Julius Malema, condemned violence via Twitter.

“We don’t agree with violence. Even this thing of Pirates was not correct. Pirates is a big club and must be respected‚” said Malema.

Former SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, wrote on his Twitter page that Pirates should be banned by the PSL for two years as punishment.

“Orlando Pirates fans are spitting fire on my timeline. That won’t change my position. You must be banned for two seasons so you learn to behave,” Mboweni tweeted.

Also read: WATCH VIDEO: Pirates chairman condemns Loftus violence

Many supporters from both Sundowns and Pirates called on the PSL to act fast against hooliganism and some Pirates fans said the management of their club “needed to wake up”.

“I fully support what these supporters did yesterday. In this country, this is the only language that leaders listen to,” a tweet read.

Sundowns is expected to host TP Mazembe at the same venue on Sunday but neither the PSL nor Loftus management have commented on how much damage was caused to the facility.

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Eliot Mahlase

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