Hekari United has appealed to the Telikom National Soccer League management, all stakeholders and media to rise up against violence in the sport.
Franchise owner John Kapi Natto said unruly behaviour by fans during the weekend’s clash at Lae’s Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium against home side Besta United bordered on intimidation and with the threat of violence against the visitors real.
According to Kapi Natto, fans threw objects on to the field after Besta scored the equaliser against his team and acted in an aggressive manner.
He called on the competition’s management to provide security during the game as there was no security in Lae.
“The NSL should know by now that Hekari faces this type of behaviour in its away games,” Kapi Natto said.
Kapi Natto claimed there was security or police present to manage the rowdy pro Besta crowd and the situation could easily have gotten out of hand.
He said Hekari seemed to bear the brunt of unruly football fans on away trips possibly because they had been champions for so long and there was some resentment and envy.
Nevertheless, Kapi Natto said it was crucial fans and opponents alike understood that football was won on the field and not from the sidelines with any kind of undue influence and unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Kapi Natto claimed a Lae-based reporter for a newspaper had written negatively about his side and the story published even claimed that the fan unrest was fuelled by Hekari coach Jerry Allen who had reacted to continuous heckling by a partisan crowd.
“The report is not in good taste. It does not promote football. The particular reporter had a physical confrontation with our bench official which brings his impartiality in to question,” Kapi Natto said.
He said the reporter had made reference to Solomon Islanders playing for Hekari which was unnecessary.
Kapi Natto said visiting teams expected some opposition from home crowds but Saturday’s behaviour was stepping over the line.
PORT MORESBY, (THE NATIONAL)