Head Zimpapers Sport
THE Zifa Normalisation Committee have finally condemned the violence which ruined the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Dynamos and Highlanders at Barbourfields on Sunday after three days of silence.
ZIFA’s reaction came on the fourth day after the ugly scenes amid concerns within local football circles that the interim leadership at the football mother body was sleeping on duty.
Led by Lincoln Mutasa, ZIFA are yet to take a leading role on most of the football matters which, ordinarily, require them to lead from the front.
The statement yesterday came at a time an affiliate, the Premier Soccer League, yesterday ruled against Yadah’s request to have their match against Highlanders on Sunday played before an empty Barbourfields or at a neutral venue.
As we reported earlier this week, the PSL believes authorities must deal with the hooligans without abandoning the troubled venues as this will give thugs ammunition to ruin more matches.
However, a disciplinary hearing on the ill-fated match is yet to be conducted and the current stance if subject to ruling.
The hearing has been set for September 26 at the PSL offices in Harare where Highlanders, their defender Peter Mudhuwa and Dynamos have been summoned.
Highlanders have been charged for causing the abandonment of the match, missile throwing, pitch invasion, acts of violence and malicious damage to property while Mudhuwa faces charges of inciting violence and improper behaviour.
On their part, Dynamos are accused of pitch invasion, missile throwing and acts of violence.
The ZRP on Wednesday night reported that the number of people arrested in connection with Sunday’s violence had risen to 19.
“The association is grateful to the Zimbabwe Republic Police for apprehending suspected perpetrators of hooliganism at Barbourfields Stadium.
“It is our sincere hope that criminals found guilty of the disorderly conduct will face the full wrath of the law.
“Further we will push for further enforcement of lengthy stadium bans for anyone found causing trouble at stadiums.”
The association added:
“Football is a team sport, and supporters should also play their part to keep the game civilised. As a commercial sport, football needs order so that sponsors can feel proud to associate their brands with it.
“That becomes extremely difficult if barbaric acts of pitch invasion and violence are part of our game.
“As the association, we will continue engaging all concerned stakeholders so that we can come up with fool proof solutions to the eternal challenge of hooliganism. The association is also concerned by the offensive songs and chants peculiar to our football.”