The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has called on law enforcement agents to come down heavily on hooligans if violence at football matches is to be eradicated.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders will become the latest club to be charged over crowd trouble after the violence that rocked the aftermath of their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Chicken Inn on Sunday.
PSL secretary-general, Kenny Ndebele said violence recurred partly because those arrested are never prosecuted.
In a statement yesterday, the PSL strongly condemned the violent conduct by some fans after referee Nkosikhona Moyo ended the match, which was tied at one-all, with some hooligans fighting running battles with the police.
“The Premier Soccer League strongly condemns the violence and hooliganism that took place after the PSL match between Highlanders and Chicken Inn at Barboufirelds Stadium on Sunday August 14,” Ndebele said in a statement. “Violence and hooliganism have no place in football. Football fans should enjoy the game in a peaceful environment.”
He urged the police to make sure that those arrested for violence face the full wrath of the law and encouraged clubs to educate their fans on hooliganism.
“We are calling upon the majority of loyal football fans to help law enforcement agents by identifying and reporting the bad elements that bring the game of football into disrepute,” Ndebele said.
“The PSL would like to appeal to law enforcement agents to arrest all the perpetrators of violence at football matches. Many a time, we hear of the arrests of hooligans after football matches, but we have not heard of prosecution of the same offenders. We further call upon the police to conduct thorough searches of all fans before every match to ensure that no harmful objects are brought into football stadiums.”
Trouble started when referee Moyo blew the whistle to end the match, where it is reported Tafadzwa Kutinyu had just scored what would have been the winning goal for Chicken Inn.
The referee, however, said he ended the match before the goal was scored and the Chicken Inn players remonstrated.
On the other hand, Highlanders players mobbed the assistant referee, arguing he should have flagged Kutinyu for offside. At that point supporters invaded the pitch and sought to assault the match officials.
Video footage of some of the fans attacking the police is circulating on social media.
Bosso will be charged under order 31.1.13 of the PSL Rules and Regulations.
“The PSL has received match reports from both the referee and the match commissioner. We will proceed and charge Highlanders FC for the behaviour of their fans. The club will be charged in terms of Order 31.1.13 of the PSL rules and regulations.”
Order 31.1.13 of the PSL rules and regulations states it is an offence for a club when, “Its supporters misbehave in any manner whatsoever, inside or outside a ground before, during or after a match, no matter on which ground the match is played.
Without derogating from the generality of what constitutes misbehaviours on the part of supporters, the following are specifically declared to be acts of misbehaviour:
1. Invasion or attempted invasion of the field of play, save for reasons of crowd safety;
2. Causing the abandonment or attempting to cause the abandonment of a match;
3. Throwing or attempting to throw missiles, bottled and other objects, whether potentially harmful or dangerous or not, on to the pitch, or at any person;
5. Acts of violence or attempted acts of violence against anyone at the game; 8. Maliciously damaging or attempting to damage any property at the ground.”
The onus is on the club to prove that the misbehaving spectators were not its supporters.
Order 31.1.15 states that it is an offence if the club “fails to protect match officials against acts, attempted acts of violence or any other form of abuse before, during or after the match”.