HOSTILITIES between the country’s two biggest clubs, Dynamos and Highlanders have reached a level where engagement on hooliganism should be top priority.Inflammatory statements have tended to come out of the mouths of football leaders whenever there has been acts of hooliganism and violence. Little thought has been given in finding the root cause and a way forward.
The way forward after last Saturday’s mess is for the football leadership to sit down and try to find a lasting solution to this.
I have no doubt it’s one fan on the Soweto End who starts a song rich in tribal hate like the one with a phrase: “wakewalibona iShona elibhalwe Tshilamoya.”
Similarly on the Mpilo End whoever starts the song that goes something like; “Musatengere MaNdevere doro, anonetsa kana adhakwa and Team yemad..i, Highlander!!” deserves a life ban from the game.
The generation we are of football lovers should not entertain anything that evokes sad memories of the past.
It’s a generation that should embrace unity and look at ways of working together for a better Zimbabwe and game. In our every day lives we co-exist at work, drinking places, shops, avenues and townships as one people.
Why should we exhibit animal like tendencies in football?
What benefit is there from showing high levels of barbaric behaviour?
Self-restraint is a virtue that is at no cost at all to an individual.
The same players on the field will one day meet at either Dynamos or Highlanders. They come together to form national teams that we all ought to be proud of. Apart from that they may work together in foreign lands playing, for example, at Kaizer Chiefs.
It all begins with you and I reading this now, going all out to ensure the game is played in an environment that promotes the game and unity.
Sport brings us together in a way that no other tenet of life does. NDU, Zanu-PF, Zapu, MDC-T, MDC Renewal, MDC-N and some other obscure political forces have their members embracing some spirit of oneness in football.
Police are paid to ensure our safety at stadia. My expectations are that they should not wait until something happens.
In many cases I have seen visibly drunk people allowed into stadia.
Alcohol has been smuggled in and bottles left to pose a serious danger to fans and players.
Where will police be when alcohol is smuggled into stadia. Some of it can be seen being thrown over the walls while the rest is brought hidden under fruits in vendors’ carts.
It is time police and football administrators acted and stopped alcohol from finding its way into the stadium.
Once drunk, one is difficult to control.
Some of the behaviour exhibited at matches cannot be repeated by a sober man. Cowards blame their behaviour on that while because of what they experience at work or where they stay, tend to find football as an avenue to vent their hate for other people.
Surely locking oneself up in his room and going the mile with such without risking others’ lives and limb would be better.
Police should arrest anyone showing signs of drunkenness approaching the turnstiles because turning back such people can incite violence.
Having watched Chicken Inn play host to Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium last month, the writing was on the wall that the fixture would have problems. Hate songs were the order of the day and some missiles were thrown at that match, and the league should be allowed to tamper with such fixtures and put them on a better date when disaster looks less likely.
It appears police, private security and club bouncers are failing to handle the situation.
Perhaps Twine Phiri’s engagement suggestion involving all people in the game should be explored.
Thembelenkosini Hloli lost his life because of senseless actions at Barbourfields Stadium.
How about cameramen being hired to pick out troubleshooters who would be compelled to surrender themselves to police before kick off of all home matches?
People who cause problems are few and can easily be flushed out with concerted effort by all.
For Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa to say they will boycott all matches fixtured in Bulawayo against Highlanders, shows how low Dynamos have sunk. The club has been known for being led by men of substance who treasure the game and their own club’s contribution to the local game which is unequalled.
What he ignores is that his own team’s supporters and players contributed also to the chaotic situation in Bulawayo.
This is the time we should all be exploring ways to end this carnage.
Yesterday it was Hloli, tomorrow it could be you and I, so we have to stand up to this and make our stadia hospitable.
Violence at stadia has no room at all as fair play and admitting that Dynamos is better than Bosso is the way to go. They have had the better of the exchanges on the field despite Highlanders being more solid institutionally with a constitution that is religiously adhered to.
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