Hooliganism: A cancer threatening our game

HARARE - While football authorities have vowed to impose stiffer and more deterrent penalties to curb the re-emergence of hooliganism, the question is how will they implement these sanctions?

The compounding matter is the fact that both the Zifa and the PSL Disciplinary Committee have for years struggled to gain the public confidence in dealing with cases of violence at various stadia across the country.

The two disciplinary bodies have handled various cases of hooliganism in recent years but it seems their penalties are not stiff enough to deter perpetrators repeating their acts.

DOWN AND OUT: CAPS United supporter Tawedzerwa Moyo (in green shorts) lies down on the ground following the attack by Highlanders supporters after Sunday's violence-marred match at Barbourfields Stadium. Pic: Alfred Chitenhe

Also the club stewards and police details at match venue spend most of the time watching the action on the pitch rather than pay attention to the crowd to spot unruly elements and squash violent incidents before they break out.

Local stewards and their police counterparts have been seen on many occasions celebrating goals rather than making sure that the fans remain safe.

Zimbabwe football’s poor crowd control methods were once again laid bare for everyone to see at the weekend when violence broke out during and after the Bob 91 Super Cup play-off match between Highlanders and CAPS United at Barbourfields Stadium.

The police and the stewards appeared to be clueless as chaos reigned in the terraces while a CAPS United supporter Tawedzerwa Moyo was left hospitalised following a beating by Bosso fans after the match.

In dealing with such cases of hooliganism in other countries particularly Europe, stiff penalties and stadium bans have been imposed by the football authorities.

These bans are adhered to and anyone who is blacklisted from entering match venues is strictly prohibited from doing so.

Faces of blacklisted fans are plastered all over the entry points while the police and stewards keep a lookout for such persons when fans are entering match venues.

This is a team effort which sees clubs providing all the information on all trouble makers to the police at pre-match meetings.

In Zimbabwe rarely do they hold pre-match meetings ad on the rare occasions they do, the police is rarely invited to give their input.

The reluctance by Zifa and the PSL to step up their efforts to fight against hooliganism will result in local football plunging into anarchy since the violence instigators get away scotch free.

In the wake of weekend’s violence at Barbourfields, however, Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said they are ready to act against the rogue elements that that marred the high-profile encounter.

Mashingaidze insisted they would want to make this case an example ahead of the start of the 2015 Premiership season.

“We have to send a strong message to everyone that we do not tolerate any unruly behavior from a faction of supporters at our stadiums,” he said.

“As Zifa, we strongly condemn any unruly behaviour of supporters at our stadia. The safety and security of both supporters and players at games remains our priority.”

“This has been going on for some time and it’s high time we put an end to it. We are waiting for report from the match officials and once we have it judgment will be passed.”

Meanwhile PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele also spoke against the violence and said the Barbourfields episode will take centre stage at the league Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for this weekend.

“This is a serious matter which the board should deliberate on. It’s one item which the board can’t miss,” Ndebele said.

“We are meeting at the weekend where we will be reviewing last season and looking on the upcoming season as well.”

Comments (12)

hooliganism will always be there , irregadless of deterrent penalties because its not the club officials that are at the rogue elements. but suppoters. instead, police should arrest violent supporters so that they face the music.ZIFA wake up

fire links - 4 March 2015

They must deal with this Bosso Haram gang. Since the 90s this team has always been violent and the police have let them lightly! Down with Bosso haram!

bho bho the maker! - 5 March 2015

pliz liv bosso alone,up to nw still talking abt that,wats so sinister abt that,alikwazi yini ukuthi kuyatholakala enkundleni hambani liyekufa

myambo - 5 March 2015

we dynamos and cups suporters we heat each other but we dont fight

ak - 5 March 2015

penalties are stiff but who pays the - the club, but does the club have control over their supporters no. I bet my last bottom dollar that no club has control the behaviour of supporters, so if the supporters are arrested and send straight to jail and be banned from stadiums the better otherwise PSL and ZIFA will continue to bleed clubs who have no control on the behaviour of the fans. Look what happened to Equatorial Guinea did the team have control

maita - 5 March 2015

The last time Hooliganism became out of hand at BF in the years gone by. The penalty of forcing Highlanders to play its games at 10.Am or 11a.m appeared to have worked at that time. The traditional set up at stadiums does not help either. Its 2015 and still one cannot go and seat at "Vietnam stand "putting a colour that is not blue. Approaching "Soweto stand" at BF putting something that is not black and white its suicidal. There is fans who claim to own certain seating places in stadium which don't have those plastic chairs.Its sad our normal fixed preferred kick off time 3.Pm , comes when die hard "religious" fans had built up tension, others drunk too. Players diving and complaining too much at referees for non existing fouls create tension amongst fans who most knows nothing about soccer laws. Our referees need to improve and win respect of fans. It makes no sense that we pay to get into stadium, later cause violence and assault each other fighting for teams that don't give us any food expect stress. Tolerance is needed amongst fans.

X-MAN IV - 5 March 2015

Pliz ZIFA i suggest that all the noisy makers be punished without fear or favor becoz these days violent behavior of BOSSO is taken lightly hence you see them continue to torment football lovers in the country. So my suggestion is make it a point that you BRING BREATHALYZERS at the stadium, anyone who is drunk is not allowed in stadia, stadiums are not beer-halls, it must remain family game. Pliz stop that hooliganism it doesn't have place in Zimbabwe.

basviiri - 6 March 2015

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