BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
THE meeting attended by football stakeholders in Harare on Friday resolved that the Premier Soccer League docks points if a club’s fans are found guilty of violent behaviour at football matches.
Football stakeholders including club marshals, police, referees and the Sports and Recreation Commission among others met in the capital last week to map the way forward in the wake of continued violence at football matches which saw the match between old foes Dynamos and Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium last weekend being abandoned due to crowd trouble.
The violent incident happened two weeks after another similar incident erupted at Mandava Stadium involving Highlanders and FC Platinum. Stunned by the increase of hooliganism at football matches PSL chairperson Farai Jere convened a meeting with football stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the rising hooliganism.
A source, who attended the workshop, revealed that there was consensus among all stakeholders that punitive measures that affected the fans directly were necessary to curb the scourge, which is said to be alienating the game from the corporate world.
It was argued that fans, who were the major culprits were not feeling the pain if their team received hefty fines. The only way, it was revolved, was to take a different such as docking points for violent conduct.
“The meeting was an eye opener. It was really necessary considering what has been happening in the past few weeks. Every stakeholder of the game was represented at the workshop,” a source who attended the meeting said after requesting anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to the press.
“Normally these workshops are done towards the start of every season as they are beneficial also to newly promoted teams. But this time perhaps because of COVID-19 it wasn’t done.
“So, the disturbance at BF encouraged football stakeholders to converge and try to find a lasting solution to the challenges confronting the game.”
The source said after every stakeholder raised their concerns, it was unanimously agreed that docking points was a deferent measure.
“Of course, fines maybe imposed but it was agreed the docking of points for violent conduct could be more effective,” the source said.
However, the recommendation was unlikely to affect the teams which have so far been involved in violence namely Highlanders, Dynamos and FC Platinum but is expected to come into effect in future games.
The PSL management is expected to hold a management meeting this week to ratify the resolution.
PSL action, which was suspended last weekend to allow for the indaba, will resume this weekend with matches across the country.
- Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe