The Royal Aria Incident Report Will Soon Gather Dust

Fans standing on top of the roof at the Royal Aria stands PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO.
Fans standing on top of the roof at the Royal Aria stands PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO.

Saturday 27, August 2011 was a dark night for local football. Bodies of injured fans were strewn all over the Molepolole Sports Complex turf.

The smell of blood permeated the air as scores lay injured following a stampede during a league match between Township Rollers and Extension Gunners. Impatient fans had pushed down the gates as hundreds were still stranded way after the 7pm kick-off. One critically injured fan bled from the ears and suffered a broken rib cage. It was not a pretty sight.

Despite the tragedy, it appears there was very little the administrators took away from that incident. Scheduling crowd pullers, Rollers and Gunners at night and in a small venue like the Molepolole Sports Complex was an open invitation to tragedy. Admittedly, there were no suitable venues at that time as the National Stadium was under eternal renovation. In South Africa, after the 2001 Ellis Park disaster, true to crisis management, the football leadership stopped scheduling the Soweto derby at night or during midweek.

Editor's Comment
Let the law take its course

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