DYNAMOS are 24 hours away from winning their second consecutive Premiership title glory after the Commercial Arbitration Centre upheld an earlier decision by the Zifa Appeals Committee to maintain the 4-2 result from their disputed May 6 match against Hwange.
REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI SPORTS EDITOR
This means the status quo in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League remains as it is with Dynamos leading with 68 points and Highlanders second-placed on 66 points, with one game of the season to go.
Dynamos play relegated Hardbody at Ascot Stadium tomorrow and, realistically, there is no way the Gweru side can win the match, let alone play for a draw.
Highlanders will be at Gwanzura Stadium against Blue Rangers, praying for a miracle.
The judgment was released yesterday by the arbitral panel, chaired by Muchadeyi Masunda sitting with Retired Justice George Smith, which admitted that the while the Hwange coaches were beaten, the players’ performance on the field of play was not affected.
Part of the judgment read: “The police report, referees’ report and other papers that were filed prove, beyond doubt, that the three DFC (Dynamos Football Club) marshals did assault the head coach (Nation Dube) and the assistant coach (Mebelo Njekwa) of HFC (Hwange Football Club).
“The coach was grabbed by the neck and his head was banged against the wall a few times, resulting in a swollen head. The assistant coach was also grabbed and pushed against the wall.
“They were both taken to Harare Central Hospital for medical examination and were given medication. Consequently they did not participate in the match.
“However, there is no evidence in any of the papers filed as to how the members of the HFC team felt during that match. No member of the team or match official gave evidence as to the state of the mind of any of the players. There was no evidence at all that the players were traumatised in the least, let alone so traumatised that they did not concentrate on the match.
“The uncontroverted evidence before the ZAC (Zifa Appeals Committee) was that the HFC team played very well and was attacking the DFC goal relentlessly, particularly during the dying stages of the match.
“That is hardly consistent with the allegation that the players were so traumatised that they were unable to concentrate on the game. The fact that they scored two goals shows they were well motivated and concentrating on their game.
“The order of the arbitration panel is that the appeal is dismissed.”
Papers submitted to the Arbitration Panel consisted of the judgment of the Zifa Appeals Committee, a police report on the disturbance at Rufaro Stadium and the fines paid by the three Dynamos marshals, the referees’ reports on the assault, medical reports from the Harare Central Hospital concerning the marshals and the first page of a report from Dube on the assault on him by the Dynamos marshals.
Dynamos will now pay a fine of $1 000 for assault after $1 000 was suspended on condition they would not commit a similar offence within a year.
The assault charge is violation of Order 31.1.23 as read with orders 31.2, 31.2.1 and 31.2.17 of the PSL Rules and Regulations.
The initial decision of the PSL Disciplinary Committee ordered a replay at a neutral venue before the Zifa Appeals Committee reinstated the Dynamos points, also on the grounds that there was no evidence that the Hwange players were traumatised by the pre-match violence.