Hooliganism: Government steps in

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 10:25
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The Western Cape government has stepped into the escalating row over spectator hooliganism at stadiums.

The Western Cape government has stepped into the escalating row over spectator hooliganism at stadiums.

This follows a series of unsavoury incidents at stadiums in the last few weeks.

Problems started with a stand-up brawl between rival fans in the stands of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth last month, when the Southern Kings hosted the Sharks.
Then followed what must be an all-time low in crowd behaviour when British tourist Brett Williams was killed by a group of men - four were taken into custody by police on Tuesday, while a fifth handed himself over to police on Wednesday.

This past weekend Newlands was added as the latest black mark on the sport, when a woman was hospitalised after a fight broke out in the stands between the notorious 'Cape Crusaders' (Cape Town-based supporters of the New Zealand franchise) and Stormers fans.

Western Cape sports MEC Ivan Meyer has now proposed strict new measures to deal with unruly sporting fans.

The Cape Argus reported that Meyer proposed more security at venues and a year-long ban for unruly fans.

He also wanted CCTV cameras to monitor the crowd, identify bad behaviour and stop potential confrontations before they escalated.

This comes after heavy criticism of some fans' behaviour at last Saturday's Super Rugby between the Stormers and Crusaders.

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins said the disdain for the Stormers among New Zealand supporters had reached a level of "extreme abuse and disrespect".

"I am unable to explain why a number of rugby followers in the Cape not only support New Zealand teams, but also choose to boo players such as Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh and Siya Kolisi and their teammates as they alighted from the bus, as I witnessed on Saturday," he said.

According to the report, Meyer said the offenders could not be punished in isolation and one had to look at the overall culture that informed such behaviour.