PSL security fees debate rages on. . . as clubs say paying police details is not their duty
This comes as Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe on Wednesday told the National Assembly that the security officers must be paid by clubs for the services.
“Soccer matches are private functions meant for entertainment and to raise funds for the various stakeholders involved.
“At any given time, the number of police officers usually requested by football authorities out-numbers those that are on duty, hence the need to call some who would normally have gone on time off.
“The size of the crowd determines the number of police officers to be deployed for any given event. Such members who partake in these duties are therefore entitled to a special allowance.
“May I hasten to point out that it is not only soccer matches where such allowances are paid to police officers.
“This includes among others; cricket, musical shows and private escort,” Kazembe said in response to Bulawayo East House of Assembly member Ilos Nyoni during the question and answer segment.
Police details at local matches are paid a stipend which varies from rank to rank with the commanding officer getting the lion’s share.
In England, because of legislation, clubs are only expected to contribute to the cost of policing services inside the stadium which translates to five percent of the total cost during matches while the police service takes up the remainder of the tab.
The latest figures from the 2018-2019 English Premier League season show that clubs only paid £361 000 while the police had to fork out £6,7 million of the £7 million bill.
Dynamos chairperson Isiah Mupfurutsa said the security service fees should be waived to allow clubs space to breathe during this coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic when matches finally resume in September.
“Given the situation that we are in at the moment suppose games are allowed to resume but without spectators and given that the police are from the State and government the relavant authorities should waive the security charges or if it’s practically impossible then give us huge discounts,” Mupfurutsa told the Daily News yesterday.
“Police are supposed to be anyway where people gather and they will still be maintaining law and order free of charge for that matter but with sport it’s treated as a private function.
“I think the authorities should look at ways they can try to help the sports industry because we will certainly not be able to meet most of these fees.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars chairperson Silence Gavi said Zifa should pick up the security bill in line.
Zifa has already disbursed a Covid-19 stimulus package to clubs and will also pay referees and all the medical requirements when the season commences.
“Zifa has committed to pay referee fees as well as taking care of other Covid-19 steps necessary for the return of football and should the league resume in the absence of fans it will be a minimal police detail that would be required to man the grounds so why can’t Zifa just adopt these costs as well; I’m sure they will be able to pay for that,” Gavi told the Daily News.
CAPS United vice president Nhamo Tutisani said the issue of police fees should be addressed by the PSL.
“When we came into football we saw the police listed as a service provider by the PSL so we don’t have issues about it that’s for the PSL to comment but if you ask me everyone wants things done for free which will greatly be less a burden on our coffers,” Tutisani said.