BY HENRY MHARA
HIGHLANDERS and Dynamos have been fined US$5 000 and US$7 500 respectively by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) over their abandoned league match played at Barbourfields Stadium, in Bulawayo last month.
The match was called off in injury time due to crowd trouble.
The PSL disciplinary committee yesterday released the judgment, where the two teams were fined although the match has been awarded to Highlanders on a 3-nil scoreline.
Bosso were leading 1-0 against a 10-man DeMbare when the match was abandoned as fans from both sides ran riot.
“The PSL disciplinary committee has released the judgment in the matter involving Highlanders and Dynamos following incidents of violence and hooliganism that took place at Barbourfields Stadium on May 15, 2022,” PSL said in a statement.
“Dynamos have been found guilty of breaching PSL rules and regulations and fined a sum of US$7 500 together with the costs of the hearing, all of which shall be paid within 15 days of receipt of the judgment. In addition, the match has been awarded to Highlanders on a three-nil scoreline.
“Highlanders were also found guilty and fined US$5 000. The fine together with the costs of the hearing shall be paid within 15 days of receiving the judgment.”
The three points that Bosso have been awarded will do very little in terms of their movement on the log standings as they remain 10th, with 23 points.
This is the second time in a short space of time that the two giants have been fined for their supporters’ misconduct.
Highlanders were last month slapped with a US$6 000 fine for their abandoned match against FC Platinum while Dynamos were also punished for the fracas they caused in a game against Bulawayo Chiefs earlier in the season.
PSL has promised to issue harsh sentences on perpetrators of violence and hooliganism. They are even considering docking points as a deterrent measure.
Meanwhile, Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya is excited by the prospect of playing Bill Antonio and Issah Sadiki in the starting line-up with the two set to be unleashed on Yadah tomorrow as league action resumes after a two-week mid-season break.
The two wingers have not started a game together as Antonio was preferred ahead of the former Yadah player.
But after Sadiki lit up the Harare derby against Caps United a fortnight ago, it has left Ndiraya with a selection headache ahead of tomorrow’s match.
Antonio did not feature against Caps United as he was serving his two-match suspension for the red card he picked in the abandoned match against Highlanders.
Dynamos cruised to a 3-0 win with Sadiki scoring the opener.
“Issah did well and deserves a starting birth. He scored a goal and it is difficult for us to leave him out. We will have to come up with a plan to see if they can all start. With them, we know we have what we really need on the wings ,so let us see what happens on Saturday (tomorrow),” Ndiraya said.
Antonio was barely missed in the two matches he was suspended, but Ndiraya said his return is a big boost for his title-chasing side.
“Antonio has been key for us. He has been involved in most of the goals that we have scored so far, so his coming back is a boost for the team. He gives us a different dimension to our play, so we are happy that he is back. Hopefully, his coming back will spur the team on. We hope that he will pick up from where he left off.
He is a young boy in his first season in the league, so it’s unfortunate that he had to serve the suspension the way he did. We have been working with him psychologically and we hope that he is not damaged by what transpired. He has a strong mentality and we hope he can pick himself up and continue to do what he was doing before he got suspended. We believe in him and in his ability.
“He was looking sharp in training and if he is to carry that form into the game then we know that we will be good to go as a team.”
Dynamos will be hoping to carry on from their victory over Caps.
“The preparations have gone on well, but we were disturbed because of the absence of two key players Shadreck Nyahwa and Emmanuel Paga, who had gone for trials in Tanzania. We had to soldier on with the players that we have. We have a good squad with good players who are very competitive. Hopefully, they will give us the result that we want on Saturday.”
Nyahwa and Paga are expected back into the country today although it is not certain that they will make it into the squad for tomorrow’s game.
“The two-week break had broken the rhythm that we were going to have after a win in the Harare derby. On a positive side, the break has given the players the recovery that they need going into the last 17 games of the season. I am happy with the fitness levels that the players have got so we expect a competitive match against Yadah. It is a match that we really want to do well. We want to start from where we left off before the break, so it is an important match for us.”
Dynamos scored 20 goals in the first half of the season, and Ndiraya believes that if they can improve on their conversion rate, they stand a good chance of winning the league title.
The Harare giants have the best defensive record after conceding just six goals in the first 17 games of the season.
They sit on third position with 34 points, the same number of points with second-placed FC Platinum. The two teams are one point behind log leaders Chicken Inn.
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