Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi: 'One of the most disgraceful scenes ever seen in SA football'
TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi has spoken out about the events leading up to the fracas at the entrance to the Orlando Stadium field and change rooms on Saturday, including a phone call to Orlando Pirates and Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson Irvin Khoza.
The incident, filmed on a cellphone and shared on Galaxy's Twitter account, involved Sukazi being denied entry to the change rooms and field despite his “all access” PSL accreditation at his team's 2-0 DStv Premiership defeat to Orlando Pirates. Sukazi and fellow TS officials attempted to push through and were manhandled by security officials.
“I think that was one of the most disgraceful scenes we have ever seen in SA football,” Sukazi told a press conference of the SA Football Journalists' Association on Tuesday afternoon.
Describing how events unfolded, he said: “As I drove into Orlando through the parking lot, I could see, as I was turning towards my parking spot, the security converging by the door. I didn't take much notice of it.
“I stepped out, greeted everyone and went to the police standing there and greeted them. I proceeded to the door. That's when the whole fracas started.
“The security at the door was ... supervised by the chief of security at Orlando Pirates. I don't know his name, he's a nice gentleman, very decent guy.
“He stopped me and said I couldn’t enter because they had been given an instruction. I said, 'But why, because I'm carrying this all access [accreditation] card?'
“Later the guys were very apologetic. They said, 'chairman there's nothing we can do, otherwise we risk losing our jobs. We have to follow instructions and we have been given your name. You shouldn't enter. Everyone else [can]'.”
At that point Sukazi said he started making phone calls, first to PSL acting CEO “Sis Mato Madlala, who unfortunately was not available”.
“And then I had to resort to the ultimate supremo at Orlando Pirates, Dr Irvin Khoza, who answered, fortunately for me. And I told him about the situation.
“His first response was that I needed to have accreditation. I said, 'Oh, I've got it, that's great'. He said, 'No, but it's got to be an ‘all access'. I said, 'Even better, I have it, what else?'
“So it was, 'Tim, they should let you in, but you must only go to your change room and not to the field'. I said, 'Look, it doesn't make sense, but in any case, I'll accept that as a compromise and what's more I don't have time, I need to be in my change room'.
“So he [Khoza] said, 'Give me the guy'. He called him by name, the chief of security, I've forgotten his name. They spoke on the phone for maybe three to five minutes.
“The guy [security chief] came back from speaking by the bus and said, 'No, the chairman [Khoza] said I mustn't let you in'.
“I said, 'We just spoke now, he [Khoza] said I should go in, but only to our change room'. He [the security chief] said, 'But we think that maybe you will force your way through to the field'.
“I said, 'My friend, I've got no time. It's warm-up time. Once the field is set up I don't go there. I need to be in the change room, speak to my coach, I need to meet the players in a prayer as we usually do'.
“They refused and it became that kind of a fracas. The video footage is self-explanatory.”
Pirates have yet to comment on the incident. Khoza was asked about it at a PSL press conference on Monday and referred the question to Madlala, who said the league was waiting for all the reports to come in about the incident and would act appropriately.
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