In a bid to put the BancABC Sup8r semi–final saga between Dynamos and Highlanders to rest, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has said this week’s decision would not be contested by any of the clubs.
On Monday, the PSL appointed another ad hoc committee which is expected to sit before the end of the week, in accordance with a directive given by Zifa to resolve the issue in “terms of the PSL statutes and the competition’s rules and regulations”.
Speaking to NewsDay on Tuesday, PSL chairman Twine Phiri said the decision by the three-man team would be final.
“Since the matter was sent back to us by Zifa, we will make the final decision and whatever decision the ad hoc committee will come up with, will be followed.
“The rules of the tournament are very clear and should be respected. I will meet leaders from both clubs to highlight to them the importance of following the rules and regulations governing the tournament and soccer in general,” added Phiri.
Rules and regulations governing the BancABC Sup8r stipulate that a decision passed by the ad hoc committee is final.
Phiri also admitted that his organisation had made blunders in the way they handled the matter and were lucky the sponsors were still committed to the deal.
“I admit that we have stretched them (BancABC) too far now, but we don’t want to do anything that does not follow the rules, everything we do should be guided by Zifa and Fifa rules,” said Phiri.
“We want to respect the sponsors who have stood by our side during these tough times.”
The ill-fated match was played on August 21 but was abandoned after Highlanders protested a penalty awarded to Dynamos nine minutes from full- time with the Harare giants leading 1-0.
The match had earlier been stopped after Dynamos had also protested against a penalty awarded to Highlanders.
When play resumed after the second stoppage, referee Bryton Malandule ruled that it was too dark to continue.
An ad hoc committee that was set up to arbitrate on the match awarded it to DeMbare on a 3–0 scoreline after holding Highlanders responsible for the rowdy behaviour of their fans and the subsequent abandonment of the match.
Feeling shortchanged, Highlanders approached the Bulawayo High Court to stop the final between Dynamos and Caps United initially set for October 2 and won the case, pending a review of the ad hoc committee decision.
The PSL then engaged the clubs concerned, with Bosso indicating they were ready for a replay at a neutral venue, while Dynamos maintained that they would only play the remaining nine minutes.
The matter was then referred to the Zifa board for adjudication. Zifa ruled that the match be replayed at the National Sports Stadium two weeks ago.
However, Dynamos players failed to pitch up at the venue, arguing that they had already been awarded the match by the body authorised to deal with the dispute.