Chaos at Rufaro

HARARE - Thusands of CAPS United and Dynamos fans were left stranded outside Rufaro Stadium when organisers of President Robert Mugabe Cup put on a horror show which left them with many questions to answer.

Journalists covering the match and top Zanu PF officials failed to gain access into the stadium as marooned fans swamped the main gate and gate 2 hoping to be admitted.

Daily News, Zimbabwe Mail, Sunday Mail and NewsDay journalists battled to enter the stadium until 12 minutes from half time which coincided with Ronald Chitiyo’s only goal of the match.

Invited guests including those from the president’s Office were left battling police dogs while a bouncer associated with Dynamos flexed his muscles by telling police officers not to let anyone in.

A lot of flak was directed at veteran commentator Charles Mabika who doubled up as the spokesperson of the Bob 91Super Cup organisers and match day commentator.

His colleagues in the media wondered why Mabika did not install measures that would allow their smooth access into Rufaro Stadium and crucially, his failure to lead a team manning gates.

As a result, most gates were not opened, leaving thousands of fans fighting to gain access through the six gates that were opened to admit more than 30 000 fans who had come to witness this big derby featuring Harare’s fiercest rivals.

Pickpockets had a field day as chaos rocked the turnstiles while police dogs viciously savaged unlucky officials who tried to gain access through the main gate.

For more than two hours, journalists and fans tried in vain to have officials open more gates but a team of Zanu PF youths led by Kudzanayi Chipanga was clueless referring all questions to Mabika who was now focusing on television duties.

Zanu PF youths took over the running of yesterday’s match after a fall-out with Stan Kasukuwere who had been organising the cup in the last six years.

Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa waited for more than two hours before he “crushed” his way into the stadium but not before police dogs had been unleashed on desperate former players and journalists who thought they would use this opportunity to gain entry.

Former players — Desmond Maringwa, Ashley Rambanepasi, Lovemore Makwavarara, Stewart Murisa and CAPS United trialist — Hilary Madzivanyika, were among those who were stranded.

With the exception of Makwavarara and Madzivanyika, others  forced their way in when Mubaiwa and Mhondoro Ngezi MP Mike Gava were  finally admitted.

The chaos at Rufaro was the latest of blunders involving Mabika and his Zanu PF team which has terribly failed to justify why it should handle the affairs of Bob Super cup.

Last week, Highlanders almost boycotted their semi final tie with CAPS United in Bulawayo because they had “not been informed” of the rules of the game and prize money.

The Bob Super Cup has been running for six years but it lurched from one blunder to another each year — raising serious questions about whether it is meant to celebrate the life of Mugabe or it is an opportunity by those organising to profit through chaotic organisation.

Critics claim Mugabe’s name is being used in vain and yesterday’s chaos does justify calls for the change of format and organisers, if the cup has to have significance and importance to the football loving Zimbabweans.

On the field of play CAPS United coach Mark Harrison felt the defeat could be just what they needed to up their game saying their recent wins were covering up on their shortcomings.

“We didn’t do enough to win the game,” Harrison told reporters after the match.

“We were second best the whole game. We didn’t compete hard enough. We didn’t win first ball. We didn’t win second ball.  Yeah they went down to 10 men but we didn’t turn up today.”

We had no right to be on the field today. We have to find courage and dig deep. We are nowhere where we need to be.”

Dynamos coach David Mandigora showered praise to his boys saying they fought hard to win a tough match.

“It wasn’t easy but the guys played very hard. The boys worked hard for it.

CAPS United came into the game high on confidence as they looked psyched up to maintain their pre-season dominance over DeMbare.

CAPS were punished in the 32nd minute by Chitiyo’s moment of magic when he got possession inside the box before sending in a spectacular shot.

The former Monomotapa midfielder picked his spot at the far post and there was nothing Victor Twaliki could do to stop the ball from going in.

The Glamour boys were reduced to 10 men in the 53rd minute after midfielder Stephen Alimenda was sent off for a second bookable offence but CAPS could not use the extra man advantage.

As the match progressed, it became a balanced affair with both teams creating few scoring chances.

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