By Al Qalam Reporter
Scores of people on social media have come out in support of Imran Tahir after he confronted a young cricket fan who insulted him after the fourth Momentum One-Day International (ODI) match against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg last Saturday night.
Cricket South Africa and the Wanderers security personnel are investigating the alleged verbal and racial abuse and the subsequent altercation on the stand that involved the young man and his family.
The video footage of the confrontation has gone viral on social media. It is still unclear what the young fan actually said to insult Tahir – who was not part of the game. When Tahir confronted his abuser, several adults associated with the young male, used vulgar language against him.
Lerato Malekutu, the National Team’s Media Manager, said Cricket South Africa was aware of the video circulating on social media, and they will be investigating the incident.
“Cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and WhatsApp groups. The video shows Tahir arguing with a group of spectators in the stands. At one point during the altercation, the Pakistani born spinner asks the adults if the child had any manners.
“Imran Tahir was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth one-day international (ODI) against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday. Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the man ejected from the stadium. Tahir made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity. The incident is under investigation with the CSA and stadium security teams,” read the statement.
In accordance with the ICC anti-racism code, spectators who engage in racist conduct should be ejected from the stadium and can face further sanctions and criminal prosecution.
Pakistan-born Tahir has played 20 Tests, 84 ODIs and 36 Twenty20 internationals for South Africa and has represented six English counties, including four different stints with Hampshire.
The following are some of the comments lifted from social media.
Sumantha Sookdev: This looks like a little brat insulting and provoking an international sportsman and when the sportsman gets angry the family behaves like barbarians. Then the little brat cries for sympathy….
Shiraz Essa: I’ve noticed this happening in lots of sporting events. Why swear at players and insult them in the first place. They are human and make mistakes. Sport is entertainment, why do people take it so seriously. It doesn’t make a difference to their lives.
Thula Gcabashe: I don’t understand… I thought fans went to the cricket to cheer our players not to insult them.
Ashika Ramdial: There is no excuse for racism in South Africa. We as South Aficans are fighting against racism. This is totally unacceptable. CSA needs to investigate and take action. I support Tahir.
Nawaaz Wazzu Casoojee: Embarrassing incident for South Africa no doubt. Still struggle to understand what racists gain by their disgusting behaviour! What on earth is the point of it? Don’t need people like that at the Wanderers!