By Duncan Kgangkenna
The sports competitions wherever they are staged need a large crowd to spice up the event and to position a particular code to the best.
Marketing initiatives are implemented to lure crowds to the stadia and other competition venues.
However, crowds can be an eye sore to organizers. They can end up tarnishing events that are running according to plan.
On Saturday night at the end of the Mascom Top 8 final between Jwaneng Galaxy and Gaborone United, spectators who were overwhelmed by victory could not hold themselves and in the heat of the moment invaded the pitch.
Galaxy won the match 2 nil against GU. When the referee blew the final whistle there was a rupture of excitement and pitch invasion.
Galaxy spokesman, Tankiso Morake, in an interview said fans who went into the pitch were not Galaxy supporters.
“If you observed well, the people who invaded the pitch were mostly boys who were excited and who did not appreciate the repercussions that come with their act. We had three buses which ferried Galaxy supporters to Francistown and not one of them invaded the pitch” said Morake.
Morake said their stadium in Jwaneng is small and they have never had pitch invasion in all competitions they hosted in Jwaneng. “It is important to appreciate that there were spectators from other teams who supported us on the day but we cannot be held accountable for their actions.
We can only answer for supporters and they did not invade the pitch. Our supporters know well that pitch invasion will never be tolerated” said Morake. He suggested that supporters committee from Francistown and surrounding areas should teach their supporters about the consequences that come with any bad behaviuor.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane said: “it was an unfortunate situation that we did not tolerate. We are going to take action against any club that its supporters were involved in pitch invasion. BFA is going to take necessary investigations and take action against the perpetrators.”
Like Morake, Mpatane appreciated supporters who attended the game in droves to continue doing that as, in his words, it helps to put a proper case before potential partners when they look for sponsors.