HIGHLANDERS are likely to face sanctions from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after a section of their fans turned unruly during and after their match against Dynamos at Barbourfields on Saturday.
The hosts lost the match 1-0 with Rodreck Mutuma scoring the all-important goal as the visitors preserved their eight-year dominance over their number one enemy.
The match was, however, marred by scenes of violence from the Highlanders’ supporters, which was sparked by Mutuma’s goal early in the second half.
All sorts of missiles — from empty beer bottles to oranges — rained onto the field and Murape Murape appeared to be hit on the head by an object as he was receiving medical attention on the touchline.
The Dynamos bench, led by Kalisto Pasuwa and goalkeepers’ coach Tichaona Diya, could be seen pleading with the fourth official as the Highlanders supporters turned their frustration on anything with the colour blue.
Reports suggest that some people were injured and a number of vehicles had their windscreens shattered after the match as the disgruntled supporters turned militant. Police had to use teargas to defuse the situation.
It was a truly bad advertisement for local football as the match was beamed live on SuperSport and the PSL is not likely to take the case lightly.
For their fans’ misconduct, which is a common offence under the PSL standing orders, the Bulawayo giants are likely to be fined $2 000. But this is not the first time Highlanders have committed a similar offence and a PSL official yesterday said they are likely to be arraigned before a disciplinary hearing.
Last year, a similar offence attracted a fine of $8 000, but this was reduced after some clubs complained that the amount was exorbitant.
No comment could be obtained from the PSL as the association’s chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele was not answering his mobile phone.
The sanctions will be imposed immediately after the league has received reports from the match day referee and commissioner.
The defeat was Highlanders’ first at home this season and the eighth year they have failed to beat Dynamos. Defender Bruce Kangwa was at fault for the goal, as his heavy touch in trying to control Simba Sithole’s cross set up Mutuma for an easy tap-in from close range.
Perhaps, what could have angered the Highlanders fans is the Dynamos players who appeared to feign injuries after their team had taken the lead.
But that cannot be an excuse for their behaviour on Sunday, and the PSL should come down on them heavily.