Sukazi on fracas at Pirates game at Orlando Stadium: 'In my view Khoza is implicated'
TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi says his view is that Orlando Pirates and Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson Irvin Khoza is implicated in the fracas that occurred at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Sukazi's allegation was based on the fact that he spoke to Khoza on the phone while security personnel were preventing the Galaxy chair from entering the area where the changerooms and tunnel to the field are at Orlando. Sukazi was prevented entrance despite possessing an all-access PSL accreditation card.
Sukazi had alleged that Khoza assured him over the phone he could be granted access to the changerooms ahead of the DStv Premiership game Pirates won 2-0. Sukazi alleged Khoza then asked to speak to Pirates' chief of security over the Galaxy chair's phone, who he alleged then returned saying the Bucs chair's instruction was not to allow Sukazi in.
The Galaxy owner said he had written to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) asking for accountability for Pirates regarding the incident, including Bucs' officials who were implicated.
“I have written to the league and the executive committee of the league drawing their attention to incident,” Sukazi told a press conference of the SA Football Journalists' Association.
“In my conclusion I asked the executive committee: on what basis would a single club official, worse, a chairperson of a club, be refused entry to a match venue ... while carrying the NSL all access accreditation?
“Second, I've asked them to tell me the steps they will take against Orlando Pirates for their misconduct, including any of their officials, including the chairman [Khoza].
“You might find it hilarious, but yeah it is true, as much as he's the chairman of the league he's also chairman of Orlando Pirates. And in my view he's implicated because I spoke to him [on the phone during the incident], and of course the chief of security came back to say that I shouldn't go in.”
Repeated attempts to reach Khoza on his cellphone on Wednesday and Thursday were unsuccessful nor did he respond to requests to an SMS for reaction to Sukazi's statements. Pirates have yet to comment on Saturday’s incident.
Khoza was asked about it at a PSL press conference on Monday and referred the question to acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala, who said the league was waiting for reports to come in about the incident and would act appropriately.
Madlala also could not be reached on her cellphone despite repeated attempts on Wednesday and Thursday, and did not respond to an SMS request for comment on whether there had been any update on the reports she was receiving or further action.
Sukazi said he is asking the PSL to act with impartiality on the matter.
“Of course for such an act of criminality Orlando Pirates has to be charged, including all of its officials who are involved or implicated in this. And of course, there needs to be some punishment meted out to them.
“And that will illustrate that this football is not owned maybe by Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs or Sundowns, or by me or even Dr Khoza or Kaizer Motaung.”
He said if the PSL does not ensure accountability on the matter, it could cast doubt on the abilities of the league's senior management.
“Because many now are casting doubt and aspersions that they won't do anything, that it's an Irvin Khoza thing, or a Mato Madlala thing,” Sukazi said.
“I think it [the league] will have to illustrate vital independence in this matter. And I think that would firm up the waning belief in them [the PSL executive], to say that they can act impartially and don't take sides, and can ensure that justice is served for the benefit of the game.
“That's all I would want to see here. I think it's a public matter, it's not a Tim Sukazi matter.”
He said the incident had called the PSL executive to a “higher standard” of treating all clubs, big and small, on the same level.
“I am aware that there's so much doubt that has been cast towards the league, and especially the executive committee ... Things have been bandied in the public forum with people having resigned [from the PSL], and what not.
“As for me on this matter, I can only believe they will do what is just and equitable. Anything outside that will deepen the doubt and cause people to believe otherwise on that.
“And it would be them who had put themselves into that — not necessarily me.”
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