Chapungu-Dynamos replay: Cry Zim football

HARARE - The re-arranged Castle Lager Premiership match pitting Chapungu and Dynamos has once again exposed the ineptitude of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) as they failed to follow simple and basic football regulations.

Zimbabwean football is still trying to recover from the monumental balmy decision made by Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa when he rescinded a red card awarded to Dynamos striker Christian Ntouba in a league match against Highlanders.

Chiyangwa’s ill-advised move grabbed international headlines as it highlighted the challenges facing local football.

This week, it’s the PSL’s turm to come under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons with the way they have handled the rescheduled match between Chapungu and Dynamos.

The initial match was held on June 18, but was abandoned after 56 minutes when one of the goalposts at Ascot Stadium collapsed after Chapungu goalkeeper Talbert Shumba crashed into the upright.

Technicians from the City of Gweru were called in to repair the goalpost but by the time they finished there was not enough light to continue with the game forcing the referees to call it off.

Dynamos were leading 4-0 at the time the match was abandoned courtesy of goals from Emmanuel Mandiranga (brace), Denver Mukamba and Ntouba.

But in a clear sign of lack of vision and an understanding of how football rules operate, the PSL waited over three months before scheduling a restart of the match in the 56th minute.

In such scenarios, Fifa statutes are clear and state that when a match is resumed under such circumstances, teams must field the same personnel that were on the field when the match was stopped.

Even the supporters that had paid to watch the match are also expected to use the same ticket stubs for the reminder of the game.

Normally, such determinations are made just after the game has been stopped and is usually expected to resume after 48 hours.

However, the PSL’s dithering in coming up with a decision has created a crisis because a lot of things have happened in the last three months.

At the moment Chapungu’s squad has been ravaged by injuries resulting in at least five players that were on the pitch during the abandoned match unavailable today.

The Gweru-based side has also released Ngoni Murisa to their sister club Blue Swallows in the Zifa Northern Region Division One while Nigel Papias has moved on to Bantu Rovers.

Dynamos on the other hand have defender Obey Mwerahari out after he was injured last weekend against CAPS United.

Mwerahari, who was also on the pitch when the match was stopped, has been ruled out for two weeks. 

All of this could have been avoided had the PSL acted quickly and rescheduled the match in a timely manner.

For instance in our neighbouring South Africa, in 2010 when a match pitting  Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows was abandoned due to floodlights failure in the 36th minute with the Dube Birds leading 2-0; their league acted quickly.

The then Absa Premiership chief executive Kjetil Siem announced soon after the cancellation that the game was to be resumed in the 36 minute within 48 hours at the same stadium with Swallows leading 2-0 while the same players taking part.

Again in 2015 the same thing happened when a match between SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates was abandoned owing to an electrical failure.

The game was re-arranged and played within 48 hours and was replayed from the minute it was cancelled.

There are several examples and we can go on and on listing them.

But in a clear sign of how our local PSL is still operating in an archaic manner, the league even summoned Chapungu for a hearing after the match was abandoned.

The fans are also not going to be spared as well, even if you had paid to watch the initial game, you are still required to pay again to watch today’s match.

Comments (1)

The reporter was not at the stadium the goal post was not repaired on that particular day check your facts

andrew - 21 September 2017

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