Violence continues unabated at PSL matches

HARARE – It looks like local soccer administrators are losing the fight against football hooliganism and violence at Castle Lager Premiership matches.

At the weekend, there was another bad advertisement of the domestic league when Highlanders fans brazenly attacked Yadah FC fans at the National Sports Stadium.

Bosso technical manager Madinda Ndlovu was appalled by the behaviour from his team’s fans and dedicated most of his post-match press conference to denounce the hooligans.

“I’m one person who does not condone that kind of behaviour that came out of the terraces. I believe that we are a team that should win or lose with dignity,” Ndlovu said after the game which ended in a goalless draw.

“We should really keep our dignity and we should accept defeat; if we are not playing well, we should then go back to the drawing board and work hard on what our objectives are with this project but what happened in the terraces, I’m really one person who does not condone that.

“Regardless whether the balls were two, three or four; we are away we don’t control the situation so resorting to violence is something that I don’t really go along with.”

Last month, there were deplorable scenes at Ascot Stadium in Gweru when Nichrut FC fans attacked CAPS United supporters towards the end of the seven-goal thriller between the two sides.

A number of Makepekepe fans were left seriously injured by the Shurugwi-based side’s fans, who in some instances were using machetes in the attack.

There have been several cases of fan trouble reported already, just 11 games into the 2018 season and it seems the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has no idea on how to effectively deal with this problem.

What they have so far done  is to haul the teams involved before disciplinary hearings but crucially, none of the violent fans have been arrested or charged with any crime.

The PSL should take a leaf from their counterparts from South Africa, where the Absa Premiership comes down heavily on both clubs and fans.

On April 21, at least 18 people were injured while players had to run off the field following a pitch invasion at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban following Kaizer Chiefs’2-0 loss to Free State Stars.

Amakhosi fans went on the rampage, ripping out seats, setting fires in the stands, damaging TV cameras and other equipment, and also attacking security guards.

The security cordon in the tunnel was also broken, which saw a live TV interview interrupted in the melee.

However, the Absa Premiership and the South African Police Service (Saps) used television footage from the match to identify the perpetrators of the violence and last week the fans appeared in court.

“Three suspects appeared in the Durban Magistrates’ Court this morning on charges of public violence emanating from the incident at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on April 21, 2018,” Saps said in a statement last week.

“Cebolendoda Hadebe (21), Douglas Mhlaliseni Mkhize (42) and Lungigani Gabriel Jaca (33) appeared briefly at the Durban Magistrates’ Court. All three were released on bail of R1 000.

“The case against them was remanded to May 25, 2018 when they will appear together with their four co-accused who had appeared previously on the same charges.”

“We are encouraging the outstanding suspects to contact our investigating officers immediately before our police officers pounce on them. We are once again appealing to injured victims to also come forward as we still require their statements.”

Three other suspects, Siphosenkosi Knowledge Memela (35), John Sibongiseni Khumalo (29) and Khwezilomso Madiba (35) appeared at the Durban Magistrates’ Court facing charges of alleged public violence later on. They were also set to appear in court again on May 25.

Unless, out local league and police take this approach of quickly identifying the hooligans and bringing them before the courts, then they will continue to do as they please.

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