ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa, riled by the mayhem that marred the Premiership showdown between Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields, has vowed to crack down on hooliganism and revealed he will be thorough in dealing with the scourge of violence in domestic football.
Chiyangwa said this while awaiting the respective sub-committees that handle such matters to deal with the incidents that caused a premature end to the epic Battle of Zimbabwe clash.
He said his association would not tolerate a scenario where certain venues become no-go areas for football. The ZIFA boss said while it would be premature for him to discuss any possible decision before the relevant reports had been brought to him, he felt it prudent to warn the hooligans to “stay away from football venues.’’
“I am not in a position to comment much at the moment, but what I can promise is that we are going to be thorough in dealing with this problem. “Bulawayo cannot be a no-go area in as far as football is concerned,’’ Chiyangwa said.
The Harare property mogul was last week appointed to the CAF Nations Cup organising committee, also noted that one of his new roles at the continental body included “assessing the security and suitability of a place to host football matches.
“So it has to start with us at home here . . . we are going to be thorough on violence and it’s not just in Bulawayo, but any other venue. I am not going to tolerate a situation where Zimbabwe is going to be sore sight for football. No one forces hooligans to come to the stadium, they must just stay at their homes,’’ Chiyangwa said.
Chiyangwa’s stern warning came as the Premier Soccer League summoned Highlanders to a disciplinary hearing next week for the behaviour of their fans.
The PSL also urged Highlanders to find ways to rein in on unruly elements among their supporters after the Bulawayo giants were charged for the ugly scenes that caused the abandonment of the match against traditional rivals Dynamos.
While the fate of the match is yet to be decided, Bosso are set to face the music for the bad behaviour of their supporters which caused the premature end of the blockbuster clash.
The match was stopped after the supporters rendered the environment unsafe by attacking the match officials with missiles and storming the pitch in protest to Dynamos’ equaliser.
Cameroonian import Joel Christian scored a hotly-disputed goal to level the teams at 1-1 after Rahman Kutsanzira had put the home team ahead earlier on.
But the goal did not go down well with a section of the Bosso supporters who felt it should have been disallowed for offside. All hell then broke loose when the unruly supporters took the law into their own hands and started attacking the second assistant referee Thomas Kusosa with missiles because he had kept his flag down.
PSL Communications and Media Liaison Officer Kudzai Bare said football leadership across all clubs should educate their supporters to eliminate violence at the football matches.
“The disciplinary hearing will be held on Tuesday 23 May, 2017. The Premier Soccer League does not condone acts of violence and hooliganism in football and urges club leaders to capacitate their security officials and educate their fans so as to eradicate violence from our football.
“We would like to apologise to all our stakeholders and fans for the unfortunate incident that happened at Barbourfields Stadium. We appeal to all football loving fans to desist from violence and assist in identifying the perpetrators of hooliganism,” said Bare.
Bare said Highlanders would be charged in terms of Order 31 of the PSL Rules and Regulations which deals with violence and hooliganism.
“The Premier Soccer League has summoned Highlanders FC to appear before the PSL Disciplinary Committee following incidents of hooliganism that occurred at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday 14 May, 2017 at a Castle Lager PSL match between Highlanders FC and Dynamos FC resulting in the abandonment of the match.
“Highlanders FC have been charged for breaching the Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations. In terms of Order 31 of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations. It is an Act of Misconduct on the part of the Club where its supporters misbehave in any manner whatsoever, inside or outside a ground before, during or after a match, no matter on which ground the match is played.” Herald