FOOTBALL is a beautiful game loved and watched by millions of people around the world.
However, for most peace-loving Zimbabweans, some matches have become a no-go area, especially when giants Dynamos and Highlanders clash.
The two giants face-off in a Castle Lager Premiership at the Barbourfields on Sunday.
The match is dubbed the Battle of Zimbabwe, an encounter when the country’s giants battle.
And, violence is the last thing we expect on such a day.
Highlanders, who were recently summoned by the Premier Soccer League over violent behaviour, have taken the lead in condemning any forms of violence, ahead of Sunday’s match.
Bosso have released a statement urging their fans to embrace their opposition.
What a commendable move.
The violence, which occurs during football matches, is not just physical.
But, it takes the form of foul-language, which leads to clashes between fans.
The violence might also take a tribal dimension, with some fans being subjected to abuse and intimidation.
Just like what Bosso said in their statement, this has no place in our football.
It is important for the fans to know that a football match has three results.
You win, draw or lose and it is important to embrace any result that comes your way for the good of the game.
Some of the violent behaviour by fans comes as a result of what they deem unfair decisions by referees.
Again, it is important for the fans to know that the man in the centre is in charge of the game and his or her decision is final.
This, however, should not give the referees a leeway to abuse their powers.
We encourage them to be professional and fair to avoid any problems with the fans and the players.
The players and the technical team also have a responsibility to ensure that matches end without any form of violence.
They can ensure this by their conduct towards decisions by referees.
Real fans want to watch football, they want to see competition at the highest level and if you ask them, they would want to do this in a peaceful environment.
They want to see giants like Dynamos and Highlanders clashing.
They want to feel the excitement of seeing their team win their biggest match of the season.
They want to experience the excitement of having their team attempting to win the league.
Football fans want a rivalry on the football pitch – not in boardrooms, courtrooms or newspapers, and definitely not a physical one.
This clash between Dynamos and Highlanders is the real deal.
It personifies the reason why football is the most loved sport in the world.
These are the two biggest teams in the country and they both stand a chance to win the league title.
May they take care not to forget what makes football this beautiful and retain all the aspects that make the game the greatest sport in the world.