Inside sport: Send the hooligans to jail

Just like the wolf in sheep’s skin, they come to the stadium well dressed in club colours, but it is their well-documented violent behaviour during and after the game that separates them from the real football fans.


THERE is no football match on the domestic scene that generates a lot of excitement and attracts big crowds than the one pitting Dynamos against Highlanders.

That is the reason why all roads will this afternoon be leading to Barbourfields Stadium where the two biggest football teams in the land engage in what is dubbed the Battle of Zimbabwe.

Sadly, though, some of those who will make the trip to the stadium are not genuine football fans, but those bent on causing chaos in this beautiful game.

Just like the wolf in sheep’s skin, they come to the stadium well dressed in club colours, but it is their well-documented violent behaviour during and after the game that separates them from the real football fans.

Dynamos hooligans

It is, therefore, not a surprise that the police have warned hooligans to stay away from this match while the Premier Soccer League (PSL) too has appealed to both clubs to see that their followers behave in a sporting manner.

We have heard this story over and over before from the police and the PSL, but violence continues to reign supreme and for that matter with serious consequences.

There have been serious injuries to genuine football fans and sometimes death as was the case in 2014 when Bosso fan, Thembelenkosi Hloli, was killed in disturbances that took centre stage after a game between the two teams at Barbourfields Stadium.

Popular Dynamos supporter Stanford Nhau best known as Taribo also died after being attacked allegedly by Highlanders fans during a game at the same Barbourfields Stadium, which Dynamos won.

The PSL has for long been fining clubs heavily for the behaviour of their fans, but this has not helped as the hooligans themselves have not been in any way affected by these fines.

In fact, they have continued to attend matches and cause more chaos knowing pretty well that somebody else will be held responsible for their violent behaviour.

In fact, it seems these hooligans enjoy having their teams punished while the violent perpetrators themselves go scot free and in the process causing more mayhem game after game.

Surely, one is baffled on how a family man or woman can honestly leave home for a football match just to cause mayhem.

The police should go out in full force for these type of fans so that they are arrested and prosecuted or banned from attending football matches altogether as happens in other countries.

What is needed is to set an example that violence at football matches is an offence.  If one of the hooligans goes to jail, then the others will abandon that violent system because they do not want to spend time behind bars.

What those types of fans forget is that football — just like a musical show — is about entertainment and it is there for them to be entertained by the two teams in an atmosphere of friendship and fun.

Football is about winning, about losing, and about drawing, and the best thing today for Bosso and Dembare fans is to accept the outcome of the match because that is what the game is all about.

For them, the most important thing should be the satisfaction of having enjoyed the show from the two teams, who are traveling two different paths in the race for the Castle Lager Premiership title with Dynamos at the top of the table and Highlanders struggling among those down under.

Those on the winning side should not celebrate in a way that provokes the emotions of the losing side while those in defeat should gracefully accept the outcome — go home, or to drinking places and enjoy themselves.

Even those with internal problems, violence is not the solution to the crisis but sitting down to resolve the matter and not at the stadium but behind closed doors at the club offices.

After all has been said, those with the means, Barbourfields Stadium is this afternoon, the place to be to enjoy the Bosso and Dembare football show and the ice cream too even though it’s winter.

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