HIGHLANDERS APPEAL FORWARDED TO ZIFA Byo City vow to beat Bosso
TITLE chasing Highlanders yesterday submitted their appeal against the Premier Soccer League’s decision condemning the Bulawayo giants to play in an empty stadium as punishment for crowd trouble that marred their home game against Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium in August.
In a verdict released on Thursday, the PSL’s disciplinary committee ordered Highlanders to play their next game, which happens to be tomorrow’s derby against Bulawayo City, in an empty stadium.
Bosso reacted with an appeal directed to Zifa and sent through the PSL.
Highlanders are merely riding on the precedence set by Dynamos who were ordered to play against Ngezi Platinum Stars in an empty stadium for acts of hooliganism in the aftermath of their home loss to FC Platinum in May. DeMbare appealed that verdict and the matter is yet to be heard by Zifa.
Kennedy Ndebele, the PSL chief executive officer, confirmed receipt of Highlanders’ appeal and said they were consulting on the way forward.
“We received Highlanders’ appeal which we’ve since forwarded to Zifa. We’re still consulting on the way forward and the outcome will be known today,” said Ndebele.
It is likely that Highlanders’ matter will be held at a later date since Zifa do not have an Appeals Committee.
According to information on Zifa’s website, the national mother body’s president Phillip Chiyangwa only appointed the chairman of the Appeals Committee Justice Tawanda Chitapi and they are yet to announce other members of that judicial board.
It is highly likely that Zifa will put Highlanders’ appeal on their roll and it will be heard after the Dynamos plea.
Highlanders’ chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said they have strong grounds to appeal.
Among things that Highlanders might have appealed against is the issue of double punishment, that is playing in an empty stadium and paying a fine.
The PSL’s disciplinary committee slapped Bosso with a $3 500, of which $1 500 was suspended for the rest of the season on condition that the club is not found guilty of a similar offence. Highlanders have to pay $2 000 as well as the costs of the hearing by November 30.
The prosecutor submitted that Highlanders contravened the PSL’s rules and regulations, and the club’s arguments were mitigatory.
The disciplinary committee condemned acts of violence and ruled as follows: “…. Highlanders is ordered to pay a fine of $3 500; $1 500 is suspended for the rest of the season on condition that the club is not convicted of a similar offence. The effective fine of $2 000 together with the costs of the hearing to be paid by 30 November 2016. Highlanders to further play their next PSL officially sanctioned home ground game in an empty stadium.”
Following the Dynamos precedence, in which the Harare giants went on to play their match against Ngezi Platinum with their supporters paying to watch the game, Gumede called on the club’s followers to come in their numbers for tomorrow’s encounter.
“We’ve appealed against the decision passed. We believe that since we’ve submitted our appeal it’s back to the status quo. We’re preparing for Sunday’s game and we call upon our supporters to come in their numbers and rally behind the boys,” said Gumede. — @ZililoR BULAWAYO City’s acting coach Try Ncube has vowed to beat championship chasing Highlanders and bring their sixmatch winning streak to a halt when they face off at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
City, on position eight with 35 points, go into tomorrow’s match bubbling with confidence following their slender 1-0 win against defending champions Chicken Inn, while Highlanders, who are third on the table, are on a roll with 50 points.
Ncube said: “Highlanders are on a good run, they’re at their best and what is important to us is to pick up points. We won’t do them any favours and we’re going there to fight for points. As coaches we have to psyche our players so that they focus on getting maximum points.”
City and Highlanders played to a 1-1 draw in the first half and they need to be at their best to stop Bosso’s train.
City will be without injured leftback Brian Chikwenya and Nyasha Mukumbi and will bank on skipper Xolisani Moyo, Innocent Kutsanzira, Welcome Ndiweni, Mkhokheli Dube and Trevor Ndlovu among others.
Highlanders gaffer Erol Akbay said his side is geared up for the game and winning against City will keep them in the title race.
“If we’re to win things we’ve to win our games. Our dream of winning the league title is alive and we just have to collect maximum points on Sunday. Hopefully Caps United and FC Platinum will drop points and we just have to have faith,” said Akbay.
Bosso are without suspended Benson Dube for the City tie.
Peter Muduhwa will marshal the defence with Tendai Ndlovu while Erick Mudzingwa will be tasked with controlling the midfield alongside player-of-themoment Rahman Kutsanzira and Simon Munawa. Prince Dube, Ralph Matema and Gabriel Nyoni will lead Highlanders’ hunt for maximum points.
Meanwhile, champions Chicken Inn play host to ZPC Kariba at White City Stadium with the Gamecocks gaffer Rahman Gumbo under fire following a string of mixed results.
Only a victory today can guarantee Gumbo keeps his job until the end of the season.
Across town at Luveve Stadium, Tsholotsho FC will be fighting for survival when they take on Chapungu. — @ZililoR