Bosso fined for violence

HARARE - Highlanders has been fined $2 500 for the crowd trouble that occurred shortly after the Bulawayo giants loss to ZPC Kariba last month, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) announced yesterday.

Following Bosso’s 1-3 defeat to the Kariba-based side at Hartsfield Rugby Ground on September 28, rowdy Highlanders supporters began pelting players and officials with stones and empty bottles.

Two ZPC players; Tawanda Munyanduri and Tawanda Nyamandwe together with an 11-year-old ball-boy were injured due to the missiles.

Both sets of players together with match officials and the technical teams were marooned at the centre of the pitch.

The Highlanders fans were calling for the immediate sacking of coach Kelvin Kaindu as they were not impressed with the result.

Kaindu subsequently stepped down as the Bosso coach the following day and was replaced by his assistant, Mark Mathe on an interim basis.  

In the end, police had to use teargas to disperse the unruly Highlanders fans and the teams were only able to leave the pitch some 30 minutes after the final whistle.

The three-man PSL Disciplinary Committee led by chairman Vusi Vuma found the Bulawayo giants guilty of failing to control their fans.

Bosso were ordered to pay a fine of $3 000 of which $500 was suspended on the condition that the nine-time Zimbabwe champions’ supporters do not repeat a similar offence for the remainder of the season.

“In aggravation the Prosecution implored the committee to take stern disciplinary action against the club,” read the judgment from the PSL yesterday.

“Highlanders’ disciplinary record leaves a lot to be desired and yet as the oldest club, they must lead by example.

“During the day in question property was damaged and there were injuries to players as well as a ball boy.”

In mitigation, Highlanders were saved from a hefty fine due to their guilty plea before the Disciplinary Committee.

“In arriving at the appropriate sentence, the committee took into account the fact that the club pleaded guilty. They will pay for the damaged property,” said the committee.

“They have tried to educate their supporters about the dangers of violence. However, we condemn in the strongest terms any acts of violence. Soccer is just a sport, a unifier, a family game, where people are free to interact and watch the game.

“It is not a war zone, where missiles are fired indiscriminately, without any due consequences. Violence in whatever form is just barbaric.”

The PSL Disciplinary Committee is pushing for the police to use video evidence to track down and arrest all violent elements responsible for the disturbances during this match.    

“The Police must apprehend all perpetrators and make them pay dearly. As a committee we will not hesitate to ban them from soccer for life if caught and brought before us,” read the judgment.

“Whatever grievances they might have, supporters must learn to follow the correct channels to air them and not vent their anger on innocent souls.”

In recent seasons, Highlanders fans have become hostile whenever their team loses especially at Barbourfields Stadium and now Hartsfield.

In August this year, a Bosso fan Themba Hloli lost his life after violent clashes between Highlanders and Dynamos fans following a league game at Barbourfields.

The Bulawayo giants had lost the match 0-1 and the violence spilled into the surrounding neighbourhoods near the stadium.

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