Thursday, 21 June 2007

Loftus stadium chaos - who is to blame?

Last night Loftus stadium in Pretoria hosted an international club friendly between 2006 Champions League winners Barcelona and current PSL champions Sundowns. By all accounts the game was played in good spirits and it was a great opportunity for local fans to watch one of the world's great clubs play against the best South Africa has to offer.

However the evening was spoilt by problems with ticketing, parking of cars up to 5 deep, double-booked seats and poor policing. I am currently listening to 702 and the calls are streaming in with complaints. I have a few questions to which answers are required :

1) Why were seats double-booked? People arrived to find others in their seats who refused to move and they were forced to watch standing up behind the seating.

2) Where were the officials to check tickets on entry?

3) Is there a system to weed out forged tickets before entry?

4) Why were the traffic police and SAPS not able to control parking in the surrounding streets?

5) Were there trained officials enforcing crowd control?

6) Is the seating at Loftus going to be changed to be more people-friendly? By all accounts it is very confusing especially to those visiting the stadium for the first time.

It would appear that these are problems experienced at Loftus whether the sport is soccer or rugby. Surely this is going to need to be sorted by 2010. I am not sure who is to blame for the poor organisation but I do hope that accountability will be enforced.

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