Cape Town - The Sharks have announced that additional measures and focus will be employed to ensure the safety of fans ahead of their Super Rugby encounter against the Crusaders on Friday night.
This comes after the tragic death of ex-UK marine Brett Williams
in a fatal assault after their 64-7 seven win over the Rebels on March 23. Williams was beaten to death by a group of men on the outer fields next to Kings Park.
Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl told the Sharks website
that the union has improved its security measures for the remainder of the season.
“The Sharks and our service providers have looked at how spectator security and safety for fans could be improved and will introduce some additional measures including a security hotline where spectators can report any untoward behaviour or possible volatile situations, as well as a trained civilian-clothed reaction unit, which will be on standby to address any possible incidents that may arise," Van Zyl explained.
"These measures will be added to complement the 400 security personnel who are already deployed on match days. The hotline number will be extensively promoted during matches. ER24 will continue to be on standby at the stadium to respond to any spectator medical emergencies as they have done in the past.
“I want to be clear that we will not tolerate misbehaviour in the stadium and will remove any spectator who is provocative and aggressive immediately.”
A minute's silence will be observed before Friday's match in memory of Williams, while flags will also fly at half-mast.
The Sharks v Crusaders match kicks off at 19:10 on Friday.
The attack at Kings Park attack was not the only recent incident of violence at a South African Super Rugby venue. A few weeks ago a fight
erupted in the stands when the Kings faced the Sharks in Port Elizabeth, while a female fan was injured
after the Stormers-Crusaders match at Newlands last weekend.Teams:Sharks:
15. Francois Steyn
, 14. Odwa Ndungane
, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Meyer Bosman
, 11. JP Pietersen
, 10. Patrick Lambie
, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Keegan Daniel
(captain), 7. Marcell Coetzee
, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Ryan Kankowski
, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Riaan Viljoen, 22. Louis Ludik/S’Bura SitholeCrusaders: