Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs are facing a second charge this season over their misbehaving supporters after fans invaded the FNB Stadium pitch before the eventual abandonment of Saturday night’s scheduled Premier League clash with Black Leopards.
A torrential hailstorm forced referee Daniel Bennett to take the teams off the pitch in the 35th minute, with Chiefs leading 2-0. With the field covered in a white blanket, the Amakhosi fans took advantage of some lax security to run on to the pitch and enjoy the bizarre weather, dancing around and hurling “hailballs” at each other.
Despite pleas from the public announcer for them to leave the field, the supporters remained for a good 20 minutes, before finally relenting and returning to the stands. At around 9.30pm, it was finally announced that the game was being postponed, and would take place at the same venue at 8.15pm on Wednesday night.
Chiefs were charged with spectator misbehaviour earlier this season after their fans threw objects on to the field during their MTN8 quarter-final defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld.
With Orlando Pirates also facing charges of spectator misbehaviour following missile-throwing during their MTN8 semifinal defeat to SuperSport at Orlando Stadium, this has not been the most auspicious month for supporters of Soweto’s big two. While Chiefs could take responsibility for controlling their fans there was nothing they could do, however, about the elements, and they must have left the FNB Stadium feeling gutted from having to forfeit a two-goal advantage.
The Amakhosi were in total control of the game, with a wonderful Bernard Parker free-kick, and a close range Kingston Nkhatha effort putting them 2-0 up inside 11 minutes.
Parker’s effort will go down in the annals as one of the best goals that never was, a superb strike from a man in scintillating form.
The only consolation for coach Stuart Baxter may be that he may well be able to call on Siphiwe Tshabalala and Eric Matoho again on Wednesday night.
Tshabalala was rested on Saturday after a stint on international duty, while Matoho was given compassionate leave following the passing of an uncle.
For Leopards, Wednesday night now represents a chance to make amends for an awful first 35 minutes on Saturday when their defence allowed Chiefs far too much space in attacking areas. – The Star