Min­is­ter breathes fire Tells Zifa to curb hooli­gan­ism Bosso con­demn vi­o­lence

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Pet­ros Kausiyo and Grace Chin­goma Ricky Zililo Ray­mond Jar­avaza

THE Gov­ern­ment re­acted an­grily yes­ter­day in the wake of another out­burst of vi­o­lence in the do­mes­tic Premier­ship, with the high-pro­file Bu­l­awayo derby be­tween Chicken Inn and High­landers be­ing marred by dis­tur­bances, say­ing the can­cer was de­stroy­ing the im­age of the coun­try’s top-flight league.

The match ended 1-1, al­beit in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances sparked by a ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sion that torched ugly scenes of vi­o­lence at Bar­bour­fields, with some hooli­gans in­vad­ing the pitch from the Soweto End and even charg­ing and throw­ing mis­siles at the po­lice.

Tafadzwa Kutinyu scored what should have been Chicken Inn’s win­ner, in time added on, but ref­eree Nkosikhona Moyo dis­al­lowed the goal say­ing that he had blown to end the match by the time the mid­fielder fired home.

How­ever, ques­tions are now be­ing asked as to why Moyo — who is a rookie at this level of the game — was ap­pointed to han­dle the big­gest foot­ball derby in the City of Kings given that this ref­eree has han­dled less than five Premier­ship matches in the past two years.

Yes­ter­day, the Gov­ern­ment chal­lenged Zifa to take more de­ci­sive and puni­tive ac­tion against hooli­gans in or­der to weed rogue el­e­ments out of do­mes­tic foot­ball.

Sports and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Makhosini Hlong­wane said the level of vi­o­lence in the do­mes­tic Premier­ship was un­ac­cept­able and the Gov­ern­ment will not watch from a dis­tance while hooli­gans hi­jack the na­tional game and turn it into their bat­tle­ground.

Hlong­wane told a press con­fer­ence in the cap­i­tal yes­ter­day that the Gov­ern­ment wanted Zifa, as the coun­try’s foot­ball gov­ern­ing body, to put in place a sys­tem that will en­sure that hooli­gans who tar­nish the im­age of the game are weeded out, in­clud­ing bans be­ing im­posed on known se­rial of­fend­ers.

The Min­is­ter said Zifa’s fail­ure to pun­ish foot­ball lead­ers, like Coun­cil­lor and Zim­babwe Women’s Soc­cer League board mem­ber for com­pe­ti­tions Ce­cilia Gambe who in­vaded the pitch and abused a ref­eree dur­ing a league match be­tween Mutare City and How Mine at Sakubva on May 8, had sent the wrong mes­sage that such law­less­ness was ac­cept­able in do­mes­tic foot­ball.

Gambe charged at ref­eree Brighton Chimene, ac­cus­ing him of bad of­fi­ci­at­ing, but the Women’s League of­fi­cial is still to be sanc­tioned by Zifa while Mutare City Rovers were pe­nalised $2 000 by the PSL’s dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee for the be­hav­iour of the fans.

The ab­sence of a Zifa Ap­peals Com­mit­tee also means that Dy­namos’ ap­peal, against the de­ci­sion for the Glam­our Boys to play in an empty sta­dium in the wake of the vi­o­lence that gripped their league match against FC Plat­inum, is still to be heard.

A Zifa em­ployee, Theresa Magu­raushe, is re­ported to be mak­ing the ap­point­ments of ref­er­ees who should, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­a­tion’s con­sti­tu­tion, be ap­pointed by the Zifa Ref­er­ees’ Com­mit­tee.

Zifa have been de­lay­ing the nam­ing of their com­mit­tees, which are cru­cial in the run­ning of the game, for some time now al­though they are now set to be fi­nalised at a meet­ing this week­end.

“The Min­istry would like to state in cat­e­goric TSHOLOT­SHO FC coach Lizwe Sweswe be­lieves win­ning six out of their 11 re­main­ing Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League matches will take them out of the drop zone.

The Zh­wane out­fit suf­fered their 12th league de­feat of the sea­son on Satur­day, go­ing down 0-1 to Tri­an­gle at home.

Tsholot­sho are sec­ond from the bot­tom with 13 points from 19 games and seem to be run­ning out of steam as they have gone for five matches with­out a win.

They have three wins from 19 out­ings and four draws, and need to up their game to at­tain their tar­get of at least 18 points out of a pos­si­ble 33. Their last vic­tory was on July 16 when they clob­bered Hwange 3-0. The other two wins were iden­ti­cal 1-0 vic­to­ries over Harare City and Bu­l­awayo City.

“The cham­pi­onship and rel­e­ga­tion races are wide open and it will be folly for any­one to term us rel­e­ga­tion can­di­dates. If we win six games from the re­main­ing 11, we will be safe. There is noth­ing to panic about be­cause what we just have to do is show char­ac­ter and fight hard so HIGH­LANDERS have strongly con­demned acts of hooli­gan­ism that rocked Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day and warned that the club would be forced to take dras­tic mea­sures to fish out un­ruly el­e­ments dur­ing their home matches.

A po­lice of­fi­cer was as­saulted by a mob after their 1-1 stale­mate with Chicken Inn. Scores of peo­ple were ar­rested in the af­ter­math of the vi­o­lence that was mainly tar­geted at the po­lice.

High­landers’ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ndu­miso Gumede de­scribed the at­tack on the po­lice of­fi­cer as tan­ta­mount to “trea­son”.

“The vi­o­lence was made worse by the at­tack on a po­lice of­fi­cer and that is tan­ta­mount to trea­son be­cause that of­fi­cer en­forces the laws of the coun­try and no amount of anger jus­ti­fies the vi­cious at­tack. We strongly con­demn such vi­o­lence be it from ag­grieved per­sons or who­ever. Tak­ing the law into one’s hands is just not ac­cept­able,” said Gumede yes­ter­day.

“Foot­ball is a fam­ily sport and such acts of vi­o­lence de­ter peo­ple from com­ing out to sta­di­ums to en­joy the beau­ti­ful game. If such acts of vi­o­lence con­tinue, we will be forced to fish out the un­ruly el­e­ments be­hind it. We have mar­shals strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned around the sta­dium, hence it’s not dif­fi­cult at all to iden­tify the per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence and ban them from the sta­dium. As a club, we will suf­fer fi­nan­cially through fines for pitch in­va­sions,” Gumede said.

terms that hooli­gan­ism and other forms of vi­o­lence have no place in foot­ball, in par­tic­u­lar, and sport in gen­eral as it de­feats the very well es­tab­lished ax­ioms of sport, i.e. pro­mot­ing peace and a cul­ture of tol­er­ance of dif­fer­ence,” Hlong­wane said yes­ter­day.

“Gov­ern­ment takes note of the fact that de­spite ear­lier warn­ings for Zifa to take ac­tion on hooli­gan­ism and vi­o­lence at foot­ball matches, the fol­low­ing

Premier Soc­cer League chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kennedy Nde­bele said he was wait­ing for a re­port from the match com­mis­sioner.

“We are wait­ing for a match re­port which should be on my desk to­mor­row (to­day) be­fore tak­ing the next course of ac­tion,” said Nde­bele.

Un­der PSL stand­ing orders and reg­u­la­tions, pitch in­va­sions by sup­port­ers cost the of­fend­ing club $2 000.

There are, how­ever, in­di­ca­tions that Bosso will be hauled be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing con­sid­er­ing the level of vi­o­lence that marred the match.

Mean­while, High­landers coach Erol Ak­bay be­lieves play­ing with­out a no­table striker is work­ing against the team.

In the last 20 min­utes, Bosso played with­out a striker, opt­ing in­stead to push mid­fielder King Nadolo to play as a lone striker after Ralph Matema was sub­sti­tuted for young­ster Adrian Silla in the 73rd minute.

“It’s al­ways a prob­lem play­ing with­out an ex­pe­ri­enced striker and we can’t ex­pect mid­field­ers to get us cru­cial goals in ev­ery game,” said Ak­bay.

Prince Dube missed the match through in­jury and was not part of the 18-mem­ber squad that was se­lected for the Chicken Inn en­counter.

The de­par­ture of Knox Mu­tizwa and Bruce Kangwa and re­sul­tant fail­ure to boost the team with ex­pe­ri­enced goal scor­ers dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow is prov­ing to be the Achilles’ heel in High­landers’ quest to keep abreast with the lead­ing pack.

mat­ters have not been con­clu­sively re­solved: “Vi­o­lence at the Mutare City Rovers — How Mine match of 8 May 2016 where a Zifa coun­cil­lor in­vaded the pitch and threat­ened a match of­fi­cial in full view of the fans and spec­ta­tors of the game.” The Min­is­ter also cited the league match at Ru­faro where Dy­namos fans turned vi­o­lent after their team’s 1-0 de­feat by FC Plat­inum. Po­lice, who fought run­ning vis­it­ing Dy­namos in Harare.

They will re­turn to play host to Harare City, take a road trip to Ngezi Plat­inum, play Cha­pungu at home and then face High­landers.

The last two games of the sea­son will be against Bu­l­awayo City and FC Plat­inum.

Mutare City Rovers held lead­ers FC Plat­inum to a 1-1 draw at Man­dava, to take home a valu­able point that saw them stretch­ing the gap be­tween them and Tsholot­sho from three to four points.

Ta­ble an­chors Bor­der Strik­ers were beaten 0-2 by Harare City, a week after post­ing a mem­o­rable 2-1 win over for­mer cham­pi­ons Dy­namos. bat­tles with the hooli­gans, had to fire tear­gas to dis­perse them with for­mer Dy­namos sec­re­tarygen­eral Web­ster Chikengezha’s car hav­ing its wind­screen smashed.

“The Dy­namos-FC Plat­inum match of 14 May 2016 has not been con­clu­sively re­solved de­spite ad­vice by Gov­ern­ment and the Sports Com­mis­sion.

“It is Gov­ern­ment’s view that the lack of de­ci­sive ac­tion on these very im­por­tant mat­ters of foot­ball by Zifa have al­lowed the cul­ture of vi­o­lence to con­tinue to breed at foot­ball matches.

“The lack of dis­ci­plinary ac­tion on the Zifa board mem­ber, who in­vaded the pitch in Mutare and threat­ened of­fi­cials, is cre­at­ing an im­pres­sion that Zifa it­self is shel­ter­ing mer­chants of vi­o­lence within its struc­tures and pro­mot­ing a cul­ture of im­punity.

“Gov­ern­ment is there­fore, ad­vis­ing Zifa to lead by ex­am­ple and to take stern ac­tion on all per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence in all the cited in­ci­dences in­clud­ing the High­landers-Chicken Inn match,” Hlong­wane said.

Hlong­wane said it was Gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion that “hooli­gan­ism should be stamped out with harsh penal­ties.”

Fur­ther, Gov­ern­ment sug­gests that hooli­gans should be banned from at­tend­ing soc­cer matches and that the un­der­ly­ing causes of vi­o­lence at soc­cer matches should be in­ves­ti­gated and dealt with de­ci­sively.

“Lastly, Gov­ern­ment calls on Zifa to im­me­di­ately ex­pe­dite as it should have done, the process of con­sti­tut­ing its com­mit­tees to raise the level of ca­pac­ity and skills of of­fi­cials, for bet­ter and pro­fes­sional han­dling and man­age­ment of all matches.’’

Zifa, on their part, also urged clubs to ex­pe­dite the spec­ta­tor ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes in or­der to en­sure the hooli­gan el­e­ment is ex­tin­guished from the var­i­ous venues.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s spokesman Xolisani Gwe­sela said Zifa would strive to en­sure that the hooli­gans are brought to book.

“The Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is ut­terly dis­mayed by the heinous acts of hooli­gan­ism that char­ac­terised the Chicken Inn vs High­landers match at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day.

“These heinous acts of vi­o­lence must be con­demned in no un­cer­tain terms.

“The beau­ti­ful game of foot­ball cel­e­brates aes­thetic val­ues of peace, tran­quil­ity and good sports­man­ship. The as­so­ci­a­tion takes great ex­cep­tion to any in­di­vid­ual or groups who breach these sacro­sanct val­ues.

“Zifa en­cour­ages clubs to ed­u­cate their fans and de­vise strate­gies to curb these de­spi­ca­ble acts of vi­o­lence. Zifa also urges the law en­force­ment agen­cies to be res­o­lute and clamp down heav­ily on these mal­con­tents to serve as a de­ter­rence for fu­ture oc­cur­rence,’’ Gwe­sela said.

Mean­while, Zifa have sent a con­do­lence mes­sage to their pres­i­dent Philip Chiyangwa fol­low­ing the death of his brother Nyadziso on Sun­day.

“Zifa joins as­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent, Dr Philip Chiyangwa and his fam­ily in mourn­ing the sad pass­ing on of Nyadziso Chiyangwa, the pres­i­dent’s younger brother.

“We ex­tend our heart­felt com­mis­er­a­tions to Dr Chiyangwa and his fam­ily and we are deeply sorry for their loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this dark time of griev­ing. May the Chiyangwa fam­ily find com­fort in the Lord,” Gwe­sela said.

Chiyangwa is dis­tressed fol­low­ing his brother’s un­timely death but he said this is also a time to cel­e­brate the life of the de­ceased.

“It is with the most griev­ing heart that I an­nounce the pass­ing away of my young brother Nyadziso.

“A bloom­ing flower has been plucked from the gar­den of life and we mourn. Tin­oda kupa ku­tenda kuna Mwari nen­guva yaakatipa tiri pamwe. (We thank the Lord for the time he granted us with him [Nyadziso]).

“As we grieve, let us come to­gether again and cel­e­brate the life of Nyadziso in giv­ing him a be­fit­ting send-off,” Chiyangwa said.

Nyadziso will be buried at the Chiyangwa ru­ral home in Zvimba this af­ter­noon.

Min­is­ter Makhosini Hlong­wane

Po­lice of­fi­cers and mar­shals flee an­gry sup­port­ers at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo on Sun­day

Lizwe Sweswe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.