Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
TEAM bouncers will not be allowed on the field of play when the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League resumes next weekend as the league moves to curb violence and pitch invasions.
The presence of team bouncers on the pitch will attract a US$2 000 fine from the PSL.
Following a security Indaba to address pitch invasion and hooliganism incidents stalking local football, the PSL believes having non-accredited people on the field, starting with bouncers, who escort teams “guarding” the field before kick-off barred from the pitch is the first step towards bringing sanity.
Nasty engagements involving shoving between home and away bouncers before kick-off in glaring sight of fans has been viewed as among the factors inciting pitch invasions and hooliganism.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said only the technical staff, players, medical personnel, referees, match commissioners and accredited photographers will be allowed on the pitch.
“With immediate effect, we don’t want to see anyone other than accredited personnel who have been cleared to be part of that zone (on the pitch).
“The playing area is for participating teams, technical staff, accredited photographers who are branded by the league, medical team, referees and the match commissioner. Not even PSL employees or club officials will be allowed on the pitch.
“Those bouncers we have seen in some games roaming on the pitch are no longer allowed and if one of them goes on to the pitch, the club will be fined US$2 000. The match commissioner will only allow accredited people on the pitch,” said Ndebele.
Cricket is one sport strict with following zones, with certain areas restricted for non-accredited individuals.
Following the security Indaba, Ndebele said clubs have to identify marshals to undergo training on dealing with crowds.
“It was good to have security officers, not bouncers, but trained people attending the symposium. Their contributions were insightful. The police have agreed to work together to train the marshals. Now clubs have to identify and recommend those marshals for training on how to handle crowds. Marshals and stewards should be the first line when dealing with fans,” Ndebele said.
Going forward, the PSL believes there shouldn’t be an over reliance on police and want to copy the South African system whereby there are few police officers at the stadium.
The PSL intends to come up with a safety and security manual to be followed in event management.
“The next stage as a request from security officers is to have stadium maps and signage improved. It’s mandatory to have a PA system and correct people operating it in the stadium.
Those who should be at the PA system are police, club security officers, stadium announcers for home and away teams. The police should be the ones announcing stadium evacuation in the event that fans need to go out instead of dispersing them with tear smoke,” Ndebele said.
On dealing with fans, the league said clubs must have communication channels with their followers.
The PSL plans to have a fully-fledged club administrators and management course subject to the board’s approval
The league intends to assist in setting up structures that clubs will use to communicate with their fans.
Fans usually listen to their leaders and clubs with weak management divorced from their fans will find it difficult to link up with their followers. — @ZililoR