THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) has condemned acts of violence during their matches following the skirmishes at Barbourfields Stadium that spilled out of the stadium and led to the death of a fan, Thembelenkosini Hloli, after the Highlanders/Dynamos match.
In a statement, PSL chairman Twine Phiri condemned acts of violence saying the league would come hard on perpetrators.
“The Premier Soccer League is deeply disturbed by violence that occurred during and after the football match involving Highlanders Football Club and Dynamos Football Club played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday August 9 2014.
We condemn acts of violence and malicious damage to property. It is sad and painful that a life was lost and property was damaged after a football match.
The loss of life in a family sport like football brings fear, anguish, sorrow and pain not only to members of the deceased, but to the whole society. Life is a precious gift from God,” he said.
“The PSL is extremely concerned that one fixture out of more than 250 fixtures becomes a war zone. The shattering of glass and spilling of blood must never be part of football.
While the league will take stern disciplinary measures against clubs breaching the football statutes, rules and regulations, the acts of violence at Barbourfields Stadium now require a concerted effort from the community of Bulawayo.”
He appealed to all stakeholders to unite in the fight against hooliganism in football.
“We appeal to community leaders, religious leaders, councillors, MPs, national leaders and the general members of the public to join hands and fight hooliganism and violence at football matches.
“It is the duty of all stakeholders to discourage our youth from violence. The Bible in Psalms 11:5 says: ‘The Lord examines the righteous and the wicked, he hates the lover of violence.’
We further appeal to the law enforcement agents to bring all perpetrators of violence to book.
“It is our hope the culprits will be dealt with severely in order to discourage other would-be offenders. It is time that the football family meets the Zimbabwe Republic Police and comes up with anti-hooliganism programmes.
The league would like to extend its condolences to the Hloli family on the passing away of their beloved son. May his soul rest in peace,” Phiri said.
Meanwhile, Caps United and defender Hardlife Zvirekwi have been found guilty and fined a total of $4 250 for contravening Order 31 of Castle Lager PSL Rules and Regulations for pouring urine on Buffaloes’ dugout during a league match in April at Gwanzura Stadium.
Zvirekwi was fined $2 500 in his individual capacity of which $500 was suspended for the rest of the season while the club was ordered to pay a fine of $1 750 of which $250 was suspended for the rest of the season on condition they did not commit a similar offence.
The fines, $2 000 on Zvirekwi and $1 500 on Caps United, are supposed to be paid by August 31.