The Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League will be decided next Sunday. But it is still anybody’s contest among new leaders Harare City, who are clearly now in the driving seat, Dynamos or Highlanders.
Harare City have 53 points and what they need is to beat Caps United to clinch their maiden title. Dynamos need to relegate Black Mambas and hope City and Highlanders, who face Shabanie Mine, will lose.
This now leaves Caps United as the actual kingmakers as we have seen in the last two weeks and on Sunday Chicken Inn derailed Dynamos while Harare City mauled Highlanders.
While Dynamos and their sympathisers have been shouting from the mountain tops about the performances of referees in matches involving other clubs, it has clearly been a ploy to underplay Kalisto Pasuwa’s technical shortcomings, particularly in the games he dropped points against Hwange, Shabanie Mine and Chicken Inn.
The over inflated egos of some of their analysts, including some journalists, who were angrier than Dynamos itself, has created an unhealthy situation for the league and even overshadowed the competitiveness of the league which, for three seasons in a row, is being decided on the last day.
Dynamos have cultivated a culture of demanding their own referees. That is wrong.
Carrying placards denouncing Zifa and PSL officials is not the solution and whatever they personally want should not cloud our media-related judgment by spreading malice, hate speech and hatred to the nation. This is our nation together and we will play a part in preaching peace, love and tolerance towards one another, regardless of our differences.
We will only demand fair play for all the teams which is what Dynamos should be calling for ahead of the weekend matches instead of alleging match-fixing. They should be imploring Caps United to exercise extreme fair play like we have seen Motor Action do even after they were relegated.
Dynamos should just beat Black Mambas and not try to influence the appointment of match officials. The same goes for Highlanders they should just do what they know best — playing soccer — and stop depending on referees to decide the destiny of the game.
We know the stakes are high — Harare City want their first title, Dynamos want to make it 20 and Highlanders are looking for their first since 2006. Harare City unfortunately have been caught in this bitter struggle for match officials because the real “beef” is between an angry Dynamos and an undeserving Highlanders.
And in all this nonsense about match officials, Zifa also has a lot to answer for. They set the trend in 2011 when they brought in match officials from South Africa when Dynamos had complained. Now Dynamos believe they can have things their own way. No, that’s not it. Many a team in the league suffer injustice because they are termed “small” — talk of Triangle, Chicken Inn, How Mine, Tripple B, Motor Action, Monomotapa, Shabanie Mine, Hwange, Buffaloes, FC Platinum, Black Rhinos and Black Mambas.
If they complain, no one listens. Zifa should listen too and ensure the field is level for all; otherwise we will have a false barometer of measuring the strengths of our teams, especially when we go to Africa inter-club competitions.