Chiefs call out fans after Durban violence

Kaizer Chiefs players leave the field after the 2-0 Nedbank Cup loss to Free State Stars Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs have condemned the violence that occurred in their name at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night, when fans ran amok following a 2-0 Nedbank Cup semifinal loss to Free State Stars.

The club's supporters invaded the field, assaulted security staff, caused extensive damage to property and stole camera equipment from the host broadcaster.

Chiefs coach Steve Komphela resigned during the post-match press conference, and the club have called for calm as they prepare to play Lamontville Golden Arrows in the league on Tuesday.

"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," the club said in a statement on Monday.

"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."