The National, Monday 26th of May, 2014
By GABRIEL LAHOC
SOCCER fans who watched the National Soccer League grand final between Lae and Hekari United on Saturday have expressed disgust at the match’s premature ending after spectators from outside the fence pelted Hekari players with stones.
The match was called off with roughly 20 minutes remaining with Hekari goal keeper Godfrey Baniau, who was the nearest player to the fence, being hit by stones.
Hekari manager Vonnie Kapi Nato was raised her concerns after the match. “It’s very scary. For the Lae FC players they are very good, its only the supporters that we have always feared about many times and have raised my concerned about security and they (NSL board) said its okay and we came here,” Vonnie said.
“This is not an ending for any final, this is the first ever final that has not work out well.”
Several parents also spoke about the fear of the chaotic scene where several shots were fired by police after the crowd at the grand stand made a rush dash down the stairs.
“The organisers have failed us, I don’t think they know the picture and were not expecting the worst scenario, we pay for the gates and our security must be prioritised,” John Pili, a father of three, said.
“Why should people be watching from the outside, the organisers should have arranged for the police to clear all vehicles and spectators from outside earlier on, because they were the ones who were throwing in stones but they were not controlled by police,” he said.
Some complained that they lost properties during the chaos after the match was called off. Hekari were awarded the match after leading 3-0 before the game was called off.