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FNB Stampede: Chiefs, Pirates Consoles Families, Memorial Planned

Johannesburg – Twenty minutes before the start of the Soweto derby – 200 ‘illegal fans’ forced their way into the FNB stadium, resulting in...

Johannesburg – Twenty minutes before the start of the Soweto derby – 200 ‘illegal fans’ forced their way into the FNB stadium, resulting in a stampede. Two fans, Vusimuzi Prince Chauke and Johannes Nkosi died – while more than 25 others were injured.

As questions are being asked why the Carling Black Label Champion Cup match was not abandoned, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) says it will take action to establish the cause and identify those responsible.

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Chiefs Kaizer Motaung sent a letter to the PSL asking for an urgent independent investigation into the causes of the disaster.

The owners held a joint press briefing at the league's offices, pleading for patience from the public but promising to have the probe wrapped up within 14 days.
Birds of the Same Feather

“We have to find out what shortcomings there were, who was responsible and make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” said Khoza.

They duo recused themselves from the investigation due to their clubs’ involvement.

“On behalf of Pirates and Chiefs we’d like to send our condolences to the families.” He said no stone would be left unturned in their effort to find out what went wrong.

“Nobody goes to a soccer match to die. When there is loss of life it is a real tragedy. It’s important to initiate a joint investigation that is fair and impartial. Nothing we say will bring back those who passed away. The least we can do is to see what went wrong,” added the Pirates owner.

Khoza was at pains not to point the finger of blame at anyone at this stage.

He is waiting for match commissioner Ian McLeod’s report: “The question is why was the game not stopped? Only the referee can do that. We need to establish all the facts.”

Motaung backed up Khoza and said they would engage with the families of the deceased: “We would like to have a memorial for them.” He said they had been down this road before in 2001, when 43 people died in a stampede at Ellis Park at a match between the two. 

“It seems history repeats itself.”

SA Football Association CEO Dennis Mumble will be seeking answers from the PSL over the incident.

“We will have a meeting with the PSL and need answers. We also fully support the Minister of Sport (Thulas Nxesi) in calling for a government investigation into this tragic event to make sure this never happens again.

“We want to find out if Safa and the PSL implemented the proper safely procedures. We also need to get to the bottom of rumours of a criminal element being involved in selling counterfeit tickets,” said Mumble. - Daily Sun

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