Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Ricky Zililo

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

Kennedy Nde­bele

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