A top-flight club in Zimbabwe has spent USD 68142 in fines for crowd trouble since 2015.
For a club that had no sponsor in the Covid-19 period and at some point resorted to negotiating with players’ landlords, that is not money well spent.
That club is Highlanders.
The Bulawayo giants were found guilty of pitch invasion in their abandoned league match against FC Platinum at Mandava on April 23 and fined USD6000.
The PSL Disciplinary Committee also awarded three points to Norman Mapeza’s charges on a 3-0 scoreline.
The match was abandoned after referee Kuzivakwamwari Jaravaza pointed to the spot in the 84th minute, when Peter Muduhwa was adjudged to have fouled Walter Musona.
A section of Bosso fans went berserk, invaded the pitch and destroyed advertising boards and the police reacted by firing teargas, forcing the match officials to end it prematurely.
Before that fiasco in Zvishavane, Bosso’s arch-rivals Dynamos were fined USD4000 by the PSL Disciplinary Committee after their fans threw missiles on the pitch in their 2-0 win over Bulawayo Chiefs at Babourfields.
DeMbare fans were protesting Hwange referee Hardly Ndazi’s decision to award Chiefs a second-half penalty.
There was a close to 15-minute stoppage and a DeMbare fan was arrested before the spot-kick was taken and Tymon Mvula denied Obriel Chirinda.
The tense encounter between the two giants at Baboufields last month also ended prematurely.
Dynamos fans went out of control after referee Jimmy Makwanda allowed Wellington Navaya’s disputed stoppage-time header to stand.
Of great importance is the fact that before the match was abandoned, Bosso fans invaded the pitch to celebrate Navaya’s goal – a bizarre scene for a top-flight game.
Whenever there is crowd trouble at a PSL game, be rest assured either Bosso or DeMbare fans are involved.
“The Premier Soccer League has suspended all Castle Lager PSL matches with immediate effect until further notice following incidents of violence and hooliganism that continue to take place in our football,” read a statement from the PSL in May.
“The PSL strongly condemns such acts as they can only serve to tarnish the beautiful game of football.
“We are currently engaging all key stakeholders to find lasting solutions to these challenges. We have scheduled a meeting with Security Officials including the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Club Security Officers and Marshals as well as stadium owners on Friday 20 May 2022.
“Meanwhile, we have requested Highlanders FC, Dynamos FC and the ZRP to furnish us with reports detailing the events that transpired at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday 15 May 2022. We will take disciplinary action after receiving the said reports.
“We take this opportunity to apologise to all football-loving fans, our sponsors and stakeholders. We hope to address these challenges before resuming football matches.”
Has the PSL done its homework to get rid of the problem heading into the second half of the season?