Despite the FNB Stadium being just over half-full at the time of kickoff for the Carling Black Label Champion Cup, Stadium Management chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar said the outcome of their risk management gave them enough assurances that the match should go ahead.
That decision proved to be costly as two people lost their lives after throngs of fans who were still outside forced their way inside the venue.
“As part of the Carling Black Label Cup, we are all saddened by the fatalities that occurred late this afternoon (on Saturday) due to a number of people who attempted to push through the gates,” Grobbelaar said, reading a statement from the organisers.
“At the moment we can confirm that that were two fatalities caused by blunt force trauma, one critically injured person and 19 people with minor injuries.
“Only one child was among the people who were injured. The injury isn’t serious.”
Grobbelaar confirmed that a risk assessment was done, paving the way for the organisers to allow the Soweto Derby clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Orland Pirates to kickoff at 3.30pm despite thousands of fans still outside.
“There were no reasons to believe that there were any risks at the time of kickoff,” Grobbelaar said. “It (postponing kickoff) was discussed but it wasn’t implemented because we didn’t see any need for it.”