Kaizer Chiefs have released a strong statement condemning the ‘rampant thuggery’ of supporters at Moses Mabhida Stadium following their Nedbank Cup defeat.
Click through the gallery above to see the carnage that took place
Fans stormed the field of play after Chiefs were knocked out of the competition by Free State Stars on Saturday night, with several people left injured and/or hospitalised following the disgraceful events in Durban.
Chiefs had remained quiet on it aside from announcing the exit of their head coach, Steve Komphela, but they have now said that they will be working alongside the Premier Soccer League and authorities to try and catch those guilty of the hooliganism.
A statement on the club’s official website today read:
Kaizer Chiefs condemns the unruly scenes of violence that took place on Saturday evening in the strongest possible terms during the Nedbank Cup semifinal match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
We appeal to those people involved in the deplorable episode who claim to be our fans to stop this hooliganism immediately. Incidents like those that were witnessed have no place anywhere in our society, least of all football. Acts of this nature endanger the lives of innocent people and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. We shall co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies and the PSL to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
Such behaviour goes against the very ethos of what Amakhosi stands for, which is Love & Peace. It besmirches the reputation of the club and the millions of well-mannered supporters who make up the Kaizer Chiefs Family; it brings the game of football itself into disrepute and on a wider scale, it reflects very badly on our people and our country when the footage is disseminated across the world.
We understand the passion our fans have for the team and appreciate their sense of disappointment when results don’t go as expected. We share it too. Everybody at the club is working to the best of their ability to bring success on the field and joy to the fans. Sometimes though, despite the best efforts of everyone, things don’t fall seamlessly into place. It is very difficult to always achieve the perfect combination. It is the nature of sport that nobody wins all the time and accepting defeat graciously with dignity is one of the principles that underpin the virtue of sportsmanship.
We pride ourselves on having knowledgeable fans and we respect their right to express their dissatisfaction with the team’s performance. However, venting frustration through rampant thuggery is totally unacceptable. The key tenet of loyalty is showing unity and standing together in solidarity when the going gets tough. The support of fans has a tremendously positive effect in boosting the confidence of the players, particularly during a slump. Some of the world’s greatest clubs have endured lean spells during which silverware has temporarily dried up but they have come back stronger than ever. We need everybody pulling in the same direction and we, therefore, implore all of our supporters to calm down and get behind the team for the next three matches of the season.
Once again, Kaizer Chiefs does not condone any acts of violence.
PSL Chairman, Irvin Khoza, will address the media at a press conference this afternoon at 12h30, with the disturbances in Durban set to be discussed.