THE ugly incidents of violence that rocked Barbourfields during the league match between Dynamos and Highlanders at Barbourfields on Sunday have drawn widespread condemnation from stakeholders.
For the second time in two years, a match between the country’s football heavyweights had to be called off prematurely.
A group of frustrated Highlanders supporters rained missiles and then stormed the pitch, forcing referee Allan Bhasvi and match commissioner Thomas Kusosa to shelve the match just moments before the half time break.
Commenting on X (formerly Twitter), the Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana, said:
“Scores were injured and the police details on duty was overwhelmed resulting in reinforcements being deployed. Football is called ‘beautiful game’. This is not the beautiful side.
“It’s called ‘football hooliganism’, it can’t be explained away. It can’t be justified and it won’t be excused. There is nothing admirable about it, absolutely nothing emulatable. It needs to be nipped in the bud by making sure everyone involved gets their comeuppance.”
The PSL said:
“The Premier Soccer League condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the appalling incidents of crowd trouble that took place at a match between Dynamos and Highlanders played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday 10 September, 2023.
“As we are currently awaiting official reports from the Match Commissioner and referee before commencing disciplinary procedures, we would like to reiterate that violence and hooliganism have no place in our football and we expect those that breach our rules and regulations to be brought to book.
“The PSL is an apolitical sporting organisation whose objectives are to develop football and foster unity among the communities. We deplore elements who want to use football gatherings to pursue selfish and divisive interests.
“We urge clubs to educate their supporters on football rules and regulations. Pitch invasion and crowd trouble are serious offences that result in severe punishment for clubs.
“We take this opportunity to apologise to the Sports and Recreation Commission representing the Government of Zimbabwe, Zifa, sponsors, fans and other stakeholders.”
Bosso apologised for the sad incidents.
“The club condemns the unsporting behaviour that negatively profiles Zimbabwean football as a brand.
“It is sad to witness such ugly scenes at a family sport event, especially at a time when the club, together with other stakeholders are working tirelessly to bring fans back into the stadiums and convincing the corporate world that sport in general and football in particular is worth their support.
“We would like to apologise to all our stakeholders, particularly our sponsors, partners and innocent football loving fans who were affected by the acts of a few selfish individuals who care less about the growth of their clubs and football in general. We also pray for those who were injured and wish them a speedy recovery.”