Premier Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri has said the league will come down hard on Caps United and its supporters following the disturbances that rocked their league match against Gunners at Rufaro on Sunday.
Phiri said the brand of sponsors, Delta Beverages has to be protected and they will not allow the fans to tarnish its name.
“We are going to deal with them decisively. No one is bigger than the game; we will go hard on them,” he said last night.
Caps United are likely to play their next home match against Monomotapa in an empty stadium as punishment for the mayhem by their supporters.
Referee of the day Ruzive Ruzive was forced to stop the match after 69 minutes as fans in the notorious city-end bay that houses hardcore Caps United supporters rained missiles onto the pitch.
Gunners were leading 2-0 at that point, while Caps United had been reduced to nine men following the expulsion of their two defenders David Sengu and Edmore Chafungamoyo for unsporting behaviour.
PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele said he was still waiting for a police report from the fracas.
“I have received the referee’s report, but I haven’t seen the police report as yet,” said Ndebele.
“The moment I receive the report from the police I will hand over everything to the disciplinary committee who will look into the matter. Under normal circumstances it will take at least seven days for the committee to come up with a decision,” added Ndebele.
While Caps will also lose three points for the chaos, sources close to the club last night said playing in an empty stadium was the best way forward to get the fans to accept the result of any match.
However, while the PSL is still waiting for the disciplinary committee’s decision, sources at PSL said the league sponsor Delta Beverages is unhappy with the disturbances and were hoping that corrective measures would be taken. The Caps United fans were angry with Ruzive’s officiating which they argued was biased against their team.
All hell broke loose on the 54th minute when Chafungamoyo was given his second yellow of the day for a professional foul on midfielder Lloyd Masakusi.
The decision incensed the fans who had earlier on watched their other player Sengu given his marching orders for elbowing Munyaradzi Kudyarimwe in the 42nd minute.
Missiles rained from the western end and Ruzive had to suspend the match for at least 10 minutes.
When play resumed, Gunners were clearly superior as they exploited their two-man advantage and when Leonard Fiyado scored his second goal of the match in the 68th minute, the Caps United fans couldn’t take it anymore and the missiles returned; this time with much more vigour.
Ruzive had no option but to call off the match for the safety of the players and the fans.
The pandemonium was not over though, as the rowdy crowd gathered outside the stadium baying for the Harare-based referee’s head.
Armed police had to be called into action to quell the tense situation that was clearly threatening to explode.
While the situation was apprehensive at Rufaro Stadium, elsewhere in Zvishavane, FC Platinum went about their business in earnest as they dismissed Masvingo United 3-0 at Mandava Stadium to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the log.
Bheki Ncube and Benjamin Marere’s early goals in the first half and another strike from new boy Mthulisi Maphosa in the second half made sure Platinum took their points tally this season to 33.
Second-placed Motor Action maintained pressure on the log leaders with a slender 1-0 win over Monomotapa which took their points to 31.
Allan Gahadzikwa’s header in the 26th minute was all the Mighty Bulls wanted to remain within an arm’s length of the log leaders.
Third and fourth placed Dynamos and Highlanders are seemingly losing sight of the top two sides after they were held to costly goalless draws by Chicken Inn and Kiglon respectively.
DeMbare, who are facing Caps United on Sunday, are on 26 points, while Bosso have one point less.
At the bottom, the situation remains tense.
Shooting Stars anchor the log with 13 points despite getting the better of 13th-placed Black Mambas on Saturday.
Gunners are still second from bottom, but in the event that they are awarded the points from their abandoned match, which they are likely to get, they will for the first time this season move out of the relegation zone.
Shabanie Mine, who drew 3-3 with Blue Ribbon, complete the list of the four teams that are haunted by relegation.