Bad fan behaviour will be given the boot

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pretoria - Local football fans have been urged to put their best foot forward during the Soccer World Cup to ensure the tournament goes off smoothly.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko said after the stampede at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Sunday, fans needed to take responsibility for their behaviour and make sure the World Cup was a safe one.

Fourteen fans and two police officers were injured during a friendly match between Nigeria and North Korea when fans arrived with free tickets and pushed against the gates to gain entrance to the stadium.

"Fans are urged to behave in a way that does not result in injury or harm to those attending tournaments or participating in activities at public viewing areas," Maseko added.

He urged all South Africans to treat international visitors with the "best hospitality they had ever seen".

Unruly behaviour that posed a danger to those attending matches would not be tolerated, Maseko said.

"All football fans have a responsibility to ensure a safe and secure World Cup tournament for everyone. We urge fans to desist from accessing stadiums without tickets. Those found in possession of illegal tickets will be prosecuted," he added.

Maseko also welcomed an investigation by the Ekurhuleni Municipality into the cause of the stampede at Tembisa.

"While awaiting the outcome of this investigation, Government calls on all role-players, even those acting in their private capacity, to ensure events are organised in a way that encourages the safety and security of all those in attendance," he added.