An episode that one would never like to see, especially not on a sports field. It happened, however, in South Africa where, at the final whistle of a rugby match, fans invaded the field and stabbed players.
Another dark episode in South African sport. This time, it's in rugby. On Sunday, March 12, during an amateur match between Jeffreys Bay and Harlequins, won by the latter, Jeffreys Bay fans, who were hosting, invaded the pitch. This was followed by scenes of unprecedented violence with attacks on players, with knives and broken bottles. The police immediately opened an investigation for "assault with intent to inflict serious bodily harm". Following this, the president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), Mark Alexander, issued a statement. Denouncing an "intolerable" behavior, he slammed the table. "The reports we have seen are alarming and we will write to the Eastern Province Rugby Union to request further information," he explained to Rugby365.
Jeffreys Bay suspended in the meantime...
Mark Alexander continued. "It goes without saying that, if the reports are accurate, this behaviour is intolerable and the most severe sanctions must be considered. Rugby is a physical game where players fight each other for 80 minutes, but at the final whistle we shake hands and have a drink together. That's the proud philosophy of rugby - this kind of behavior is shameful and totally unacceptable.
And then, for Jeffreys Bay, the trouble could soon begin. Eastern Province Rugby, the regional league, has decided to suspend the club's home matches pending the investigation. "The safety of our athletes and the communities that support them is of utmost importance. In addition to the ongoing processes, all sub-committees are being convened to discuss risk issues and their elimination in the future," said Eastern Province Rugby Union President Maasdorp Cannon.