The Sports and Recreation Commission has strongly condemned the crowd trouble and acts of violence that lead to the abandonment of the Highlanders v Dynamos match at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
A section of Highlanders fan reacted angrily to Dynamos’ equaliser in the 42nd minute by Christian Epoupa. The fans felt Epoupa had been in an offside position when scored and threw missiles towards assistant referee Thomas Kusosa.
Play was immediately stopped and after a long standoff, the match officials decided to call off the match.
A statement from SRC acting Director General Joseph Muchechetere read:
“This is totally unacceptable in sport and more precisely football. Football is supposed to be a family sport and hence violence has no space in the world’s most beautiful game.
“While the facts are still scant, we want to place it on record that violence at football matches or any other sport cannot be tolerated as this negates the values and ethos of sport which promote friendship among other values”, Muchechetere said.
Muchechetere further added that as the Sports Regulator of Sport and Recreation in the country, they condemned what had happened in the strongest possible terms.
“We would like to implore ZIFA and PSL to get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident and take decisive action against those found on the wrong side of the law.
This behaviour scares away sponsors and would be sponsors and as the leader of the sports sector we cannot fold our arms and watch in akimbo while hooliganism rares its ugly head. We shall be engaging both ZIFA and PSL with a view to finding a lasting solution to the serious challenge which is threatening our sport”, added Muchechetere.
“We would like to encourage football fans to restrain themselves and respect the decision of the referees since the clubs have a way of seeking recourse if they feel aggrieved.
“Fans should not take the law into their hands, Instead they should allow for the due process to take effect”, Muchechetere said.
Once again on behalf of the sporting community, we would like to encourage all the sport loving fans to learn to tolerate and accept the referees’ decisions in the spirit of friendship.