Bring back the 12th man to stadiums across South Africa!
We keep having the same conversation.
It’s more mystical as to why the cries of so many people fall on deaf ears.
The louder the cries the more unnoticed they go, the longer people suffer, the longer footballers are robbed of a live audience, the longer it takes to get all of football fully back on its feet. In fact no one seems to know what the Intention of the Sports ministry and government is and what they seek to achieve by keeping the gates locked.
There is a hidden agenda, and this is now becoming more apparent.
The South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) joined in a march with its leadership in the forefront without fear, favour or prejudice when the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) took to the streets in a plea to have stadia across the country open, speaking with a collective voice on an issue affecting so many people, yet again nothing was done.
“We have to look beyond the pitch and gate takings at a football stadium and realise that football is for many on the outside a way to earn a living. Let’s not forget about the men and women who are traders outside, the clubs who rely on gate takings, those selling memorabilia, the stadium marshals and the police who earn a living and the fans who make the game magical. At the moment it seems like all this does not count and contribute to the football economy and the big question we’re asking is why? Why are we being ignored? Why can’t stadia open, yet we have political gatherings that take place with thousands of people present and even international concerts have a date on the calendar already for something we have been crying for," explains the SAFPU's Secretary General Nhlanhla Shabalala.
Visuals on television week in and out show fans clinging to trees on the outskirts of stadia in the hope to catch a glimpse of the game and their football star. Is this the aim, to ridicule and make fools of the people who want to pay their way to sit comfortably inside the stadium? The definitive stakeholder left excluded, starving for live action within a big enough ground for social distancing to happen, if that is in question.
“It is time that we are taken seriously. The game of football belongs to us all – we are all stakeholders in the game and to be treated like we have no voice is utter disrespect. It reeks of just how little the powers think of the man on the ground and their influence in the game and that is dangerous ground,” lamented Shabalala.
The Peaceful Protest as organised by National Football Supporters Association (NAFSA) will be partnered and supported by SAFPU and with our members will once again lift our voices in unison.
The march is organised for 05 March – the same date as the Soweto Derby fixture at Orlando Stadium.
AND WE ARE ALL IN!!!