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Why did match go on after fatal stampede?

01 August 2017 - 07:14 By Mninawa Ntloko
MORAL DILEMMAIrvin Khoza, chairman of Orlando Pirates, and Kaizer Motaung, chairman of Kaizer Chiefs, at a press conference yesterdayPicture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
MORAL DILEMMAIrvin Khoza, chairman of Orlando Pirates, and Kaizer Motaung, chairman of Kaizer Chiefs, at a press conference yesterdayPicture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The reason why the Carling Black Label Championship Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs was allowed to continue after a fatal stampede outside FNB Stadium on Saturday is proving a difficult question to answer for the organisers of the pre-season match.

Pirates and Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza admitted yesterday it was a difficult question after two people died and several others were injured during the sold-out encounter.

''All these things make it difficult to say how do to deal with this issue," Khoza said. ''There is a moral issue. If somebody died at your house, where there was a 21st birthday celebration or wedding, if somebody died, what would happen? Do you go on with the wedding or party? That is another question.

''So we are saying, before you can apportion blame we want to establish the facts so that when we answer we can answer accordingly. Right now we are gathering the facts."

Questions continue to be asked about why the match was allowed to continue. It was played to the end and Chiefs fans and players celebrated after beating Pirates 1-0 through Bernard Parker's strike, seemingly oblivious to the tragic scenes just metres away from the pitch.

Khoza said ''an independent person of unquestionable integrity" would be asked to investigate the circumstances that led to the stampede. This person would investigate whether there were any safety and security-related shortcomings and would be instructed to provide a full report to the PSL within 14 days.

Khoza and his Chiefs counterpart Kaizer Motaung said yesterday they had written a letter to acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala requesting the league to investigate the matter.

The two soccer bosses said they would recuse themselves from the investigation.

"The person concerned must be instructed to obtain all the necessary reports of relevance, including from the SA Police Services, the stadium, the safety and security providers, the clubs and the sponsors, and to do so on an urgent basis," Khoza said.

''That the person concerned be instructed to provide the full report to the [PSL] executive committee within 14 days to ensure that a proper assessment can be made as regards to the appropriate steps to be taken in relation to the matter."

Prince Chauke from Bungeni, in Limpopo, has been identified as one of those who died.

Motaung said they would arrange a memorial service for the two fans who died.

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