NetOne's chilling warning

HARARE - NetOne chief executive Reward Kangai says his company will not tolerate football hooligans after the chaotic scenes witnessed last week at Barbourfields Stadium during the EasyCall Cup semi-finals.

The cellular service provider pumps in over $500 000 into the competition and they were not impressed by rowdy CAPS United fans, who assaulted Chicken Inn players towards the end of their semi-final on Saturday.

Prior to the assault, Makepekepe fans had caused long delays as they threw missiles onto the pitch.

The following day, Dynamos and Highlanders fans also threw missiles onto the pitch during their highly-charged last four clash.

After the final whistle, Bosso fans invaded the pitch as they celebrated their 2-1 win over the Glamour Boys.

All these disturbances were broadcasted throughout Africa and beyond since both semi-finals were live on SuperSport 9.

The final of the competition is set for this Sunday at the same venue with Highlanders taking on Chicken Inn and another repeat of the chaotic scenes witnessed last week might be catastrophic to the PSL.

Yesterday, Kangai called for a press conference where he slammed the football hooligans.

“Scenes witnessed at Barbourfields Stadium in the semi-final match between Chicken Inn and CAPS United on Saturday 5 December 2015 cannot be condoned and should never be repeated,” he said.

“Though this development had nothing to do with NetOne, as sponsors, we find it totally unacceptable that we enter a partnership in which our good image is tarnished at the end of the day.

“We thus find it disturbing that some fans are not gracious in defeat and opt to take the law into their own hands by throwing missiles onto the field of play, endangering lives of innocent spectators, players and officials.

“As we engage the Premier Soccer League, organisers of the match according to our agreement to get to the bottom of what really transpired, we call upon all soccer loving Zimbabweans to refrain from violent behaviour and enjoy a football fiesta brought to you by your favourite network.

“It is not the wish of NetOne to be associated with such behaviour and we urge all stakeholders to play their parts as we offer our nation a soccer tournament which should be enjoyed by all.”

Kangai added: “The Easycall Cup final is set for this Sunday at the same venue and judging by responses we have received, the entire nation is highly expectant. It surely remains our wish that the much-awaited battle between Bulawayo giants Highlanders and newly-crowned league champions Chicken Inn lives to its billing and become a befitting climax to a thrilling tournament — the EasyCall Cup. Violence can only make a beautiful game ugly. Let’s keep the beautiful game that way.”

PSL marketing manager Rodwell Thabe said: “Security has been beefed up for Sunday’s match. From the preliminary reports we are receiving, it seems the police details were not adequate last week. As the PSL, we stand guided by recommendations from the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the security experts we engage in the pre-match meetings.”

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