Misguided fans

HARARE - Asifuni Bumbulu (we don’t want nonsense) is a phrase that is fast gaining traction among soccer fans, especially Highlanders’ followers in the aftermath of the recently abandoned Bosso and Dynamos match in Bulawayo.

So popular is the phrase becoming that some Highlanders fans have even printed T-shirts emblazoned with the catchy expression.

Unfortunately, and very sadly for Zimbabwean football, Asifuni Bumbulu is also being used by a few Highlanders fans to demonstrate misguided defiance against the sport’s administrators, at a time that the country’s second biggest club after Dynamos stands accused of bringing the world’s most beautiful game into disrepute through violent, deviant behaviour.

And so it was again this past Sunday that, without any sense of shame and responsibility, some Highlanders fans needlessly caused the abandonment of their club’s high profile league match against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane, after the hosts had equalised via a disputed penalty at the death.

This was despite the ominous fact that Bosso has already been dragged before a disciplinary hearing to answer charges relating to the unacceptable behaviour of its fans which led to the abandonment of the game against Dynamos.

Which brings me to the nub of this opinion. It is disconcerting that there is a group among Bosso’s fans which believes that if results or decisions do not go their team’s way, then violent or loutish behaviour  is the way to get their grievances addressed.

It has not helped matters that a few lost souls within and outside the club (both Ndebele and Shona) have foolishly tried to ascribe ethnic and political undertones to this thuggish sporting behaviour.

The fact is, violence should have no place whatsoever in football, no matter how aggrieved fans may feel by both on-field and off-field decisions that will have gone against their favourite team.

As it is, Sunday’s mayhem in Zvishavane, for which some Bosso fans were solely responsible, resulted in police firing teargas at fans, a situation that could have resulted in a fatal stampede.

Another fact that is worth bearing in all this nonsense is that Highlanders are not the only team locally or internationally to have been at the receiving end of bad decisions by match officials.

Recently, to give a few examples, Barcelona were given a penalty after Jordi Alba conned match officials in an embarrassing act worthy of a Bollywood Emmy award.

In this year’s Uefa Champions League quarter-final return leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid scored two goals from clear offside positions, and also benefited from having Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal being wrongly sent off.

Before that, Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, who was on a yellow card, escaped a second yellow card that would have seen him sent off after he was perplexingly allowed to remain on the pitch when the referee did not book him. Madrid went on to win the match 4-2, with Bayern Munich crashing out 3-6 on aggregate.

And only this past Saturday, Arsenal profited from a handball by Alexis Sanchez during the FA Cup final match against Chelsea.

In all these cases, there was no storming of the pitch by irate fans or an abandonment of the match. The clubs which were on the receiving end of the self-evident bad decisions took it on the chin and moved on with life, understanding that they too had sometimes benefited from poor officiating.

Which is why mature football players, fans and pundits talk of the “rub of the green”, as that is the way football goes.

Which is why what we are witnessing with some Highlanders fans lately, the “Zanufication of sorts” of the beautiful game, must be condemned unreservedly by all soccer-loving followers and peace-loving Zimbabweans.

It is also the reason why the Premier Soccer League (PSL) must act decisively against Highlanders and its fans if football is not to suffer irreparable harm, including fans and sponsors running away from the game.

Ultimately, this is not about Highlanders, it’s about the local game and its future.

    Comments (10)

    I for one is the reason why me and my few friends no longer go to Bosso or Dembare matches. I would rather go and watch boozers. It's rare, very rare for their matches to end without scene. Whether they win it's still the same. Worse still when Bosso is playing at home. You may be of the spirit of watching their display but all this is frustrated. A piece of advise: You guys are really costing your teams a lot of the much needed revenue. And one thing for sure, it's not me and my few friends but a very big number of football fans, including some of these 2 teams' supporters. This is sport guys and we have to enjoy every action. Pse why don't you pluck a leaf from say, Makepekepe??? Tired of this nonsense.

    Smoothy1 - 30 May 2017

    Nxxxx, asifuni bumbulu.

    Gatsi Rambai - 30 May 2017

    Vele asifuni bumbulu, including from you Guthrie Munyuki, a DeMbare apologist. Carry on supporting ubunja benu zinja ze Dembare, but lapho sohlangana khona sisazolitshela njalo:#Asifuni Bumbulu benu msunu yezinja ze Harare lonke leZanu. Thats for sho and it won't change. Tell that to Makhosini Hlongwane, in case he doesnt know

    Msunu Kanyoko - 31 May 2017

    Highlanders over the years has won accollades for fair play. Never, until recently did Bosso players dissent with referees decisions. Why now? Referees are now glaringly partisan. Bosso has been bitten twice at BF this season without incident, coz the referees handled the matches well. Police must arrest pepetrators of violence, they are paid to do just that. The nonsense that Highlanders is violent must stop. its just a few who must face the music, The police must revise their policing in stadia period. Asifuni Bumbulu

    Chief - 31 May 2017

    PSL, ZIFA, Minister must just leave Bosso but improve the policing at stadia, How do the developed world do it? Fining Bosso will not solve it. Referees must be told to be fair simple. To me, violence has been allowed to be a culture in Zim. Let us stop all forms of violence, infact Referees emotionally violet Bosso fans of late and them too must be publicly called to order. The minister must summon referees. Let us stem violence, all forms of violence, by all, before it is too late. Asifuni Bumbulu

    Chief - 31 May 2017

    PSL, ZIFA, Minister must just leave Bosso but improve the policing at stadia, How do the developed world do it? Fining Bosso will not solve it. Referees must be told to be fair simple. To me, violence has been allowed to be a culture in Zim. Let us stop all forms of violence, infact Referees emotionally violet Bosso fans of late and them too must be publicly called to order. The minister must summon referees. Let us stem violence, all forms of violence, by all, before it is too late. Asifuni Bumbulu

    Chief - 31 May 2017

    there is nothing wrong with what Highlanders supporters are doing.We are doing what we want and if you dont like it leave us alone.Until the day you will officiate matches well i see no reprieve for those who hate our response.

    Latelang Sodindo - 1 June 2017

    Highlanders fans hooliganism has been there for ages and they are being left unpunished costing the team through penalties from the soccer authorities in the country.I want to remind you when the same highlanders fought running battles with police in Masvingo when they played Masvingo united at Mucheke stadium.It was one of the worst football violence caused by football fans as Masvingo united fans were forced to retaliate by busing touts from the rank to fight the bosso fans. its high time police and Team marshalls collaborate and fight these criminals in the terraces,arrest and impose bans on these hooligans.As long the punishment is imposed on teams the hooligans will remain a threat to the game.In most of the developed leagues around the world hooligans are being arrested right in the terraces with the help of advanced camera technology and plain clothes police planted in each terrace.Lets fight crime and stop punishing the teams Its a pity Highlanders fc will continue to suffer in their pockets paying for their unruly fans whom they have no control over.The hooligans are mercenaries of the game.Lets stop them otherwise our beloved teams will remain by being punished for the behaviour of irresponsible fans.

    Nicolakay - 1 June 2017

    Highlanders fans hooliganism has been there for ages and they are being left unpunished costing the team through penalties from the soccer authorities in the country.I want to remind you when the same highlanders fought running battles with police in Masvingo when they played Masvingo united at Mucheke stadium.It was one of the worst football violence caused by football fans as Masvingo united fans were forced to retaliate by busing touts from the rank to fight the bosso fans. its high time police and Team marshalls collaborate and fight these criminals in the terraces,arrest and impose bans on these hooligans.As long the punishment is imposed on teams the hooligans will remain a threat to the game.In most of the developed leagues around the world hooligans are being arrested right in the terraces with the help of advanced camera technology and plain clothes police planted in each terrace.Lets fight crime and stop punishing the teams Its a pity Highlanders fc will continue to suffer in their pockets paying for their unruly fans whom they have no control over.The hooligans are mercenaries of the game.Lets stop them otherwise our beloved teams will remain by being punished for the behaviour of irresponsible fans.

    Nicolakay - 1 June 2017

    Highlanders fans hooliganism has been there for ages and they are being left unpunished costing the team through penalties from the soccer authorities in the country.I want to remind you when the same highlanders fought running battles with police in Masvingo when they played Masvingo united at Mucheke stadium.It was one of the worst football violence caused by football fans as Masvingo united fans were forced to retaliate by busing touts from the rank to fight the bosso fans. its high time police and Team marshalls collaborate and fight these criminals in the terraces,arrest and impose bans on these hooligans.As long the punishment is imposed on teams the hooligans will remain a threat to the game.In most of the developed leagues around the world hooligans are being arrested right in the terraces with the help of advanced camera technology and plain clothes police planted in each terrace.Lets fight crime and stop punishing the teams Its a pity Highlanders fc will continue to suffer in their pockets paying for their unruly fans whom they have no control over.The hooligans are mercenaries of the game.Lets stop them otherwise our beloved teams will remain by being punished for the behaviour of irresponsible fans.

    Nicolakay - 1 June 2017

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