Bosso vs DeMbare on matchday one at BF: The BIG one  starts PSL season Action in a previous Highlanders-Dynamos match (Picture by Libertino)

Fungai Muderere,  [email protected]

THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) 2024 epic campaign will certainly start with a delight! 

While the announcement of this season’s fixtures schedule was delayed to allow for the conclusion of the pending matter in the Eastern Region Division One where the promoted side is yet to be confirmed due to a dispute between Tenax and Bikita Minerals, it is expected to be more than a game, when the country’s traditional football giants Highlanders and Dynamos clash in Week One at Barbourfields Stadium in just over a fortnight.

 It will be a rare but exciting opening fixture for both Bosso and DeMbare fans.

Highlanders fans

DeMbare head coach Genesis Mangombe reckoned: “We have been in the pre-season preparing for these matches. It is a season in which we will seek to do our best. We are playing Highlanders in our first fixture but we will take each game as it comes while we seek to get maximum points. We actually expected to have a game of this magnitude as we now have about five big teams in the league.” 

Bosso communications and marketing officer Nozibelo Maphosa who had earlier yesterday said they were still figuring who of their technical team members would comment on the released fixtures schedule, later on said they were going to call a press conference in due course to share their views on the PSL programme.

“We are going to call a press conference in due course. As usual, we will advise on the date and time,” said Maphosa.

The club’s head coach Kelvin Kaindu is yet to get his work permit. 

The club recently hired Try Ncube and Agent Sawu as first and second assistants respectively.

Try Ncube

Last year, the first leg encounter between the two arch-rivals that was played in Harare ended in a nil all stalemate. 

The second leg fixture saw Barbourfields Stadium being turned into a “warzone” when violence caused the abandonment of the match when the Glamour Boys were leading 2-0 after 37 minutes play.

Bosso fans from the Soweto stand threw missiles and later invaded the pitch forcing Allen Bhasvi to abandon the match.

This was after concurring with match commissioner Nelson Kusosa. 

A 37th minute attack by Bosso ended in penalty calls, dismissed by the referee. And when a Dynamos player was injured resulting in a stoppage, Bosso players led by Andrew Mbeba and Peter Muduhwa mobbed  the referee over the “penalty” incident.

All hell broke loose when Bosso fans started throwing missiles and moments later breached the perimeter fence, forcing players off the field and fans had running battles with the police. 

Dynamos fans

Both clubs were summoned for a PSL disciplinary hearing and charged with contravening Order 31 of the PSL rules and regulations.

DeMbare were awarded the match on a 3-0 scoreline.

Highlanders were found guilty of failing to control their fans and were fined US$5 000 while Dynamos, whose fans also confronted Highlanders supporters on the field, received a US$3 500 penalty. 

Muduhwa got a four-match ban and a US$500 fine. 

Genesis Mangombe

The ban was for allegedly failing to protect match officials against acts or attempted acts of violence.

He is accused of stopping match officials from entering the dressing room during the pitch invasion.

This season Bosso will face Bulawayo Chiefs and Simba Bhora in their second and third fixtures in the City of Kings and will travel out of the city on Week Four to take on PSL returnees TelOne.

Bosso will have a tricky second half of the season that will see them travel to face Dynamos, FC Platinum, Caps United and Hwange among other teams. 

Ngezi Platinum Stars will start their title defence with an away fixture against PSL newboys Arenel Movers.

Thereafter, the Mhondoro based side will meet former league champions FC Platinum at Baobab Stadium before they travel for their match day fixture three against ZPC Kariba.

In their game number four, Madumburo will entertain last season’s first runners-up Manica Diamonds.

Ngezi face a difficult end to their season with consecutive games Chicken Inn, Herentals College and Caps United. 

After bringing a number of new faces and welcoming back Joey Antipas to head their technical bench, Chicken Inn will open their fixtures schedule with a an away game against Caps United who have a number of seasoned players in the likes of William Manondo, player coach Rodwell Chinyengetere, Bruce Kangwa and Devon Chafa.

After their fixture against Makepekepe, Gamecocks will fight it out with Arenel Movers before they head to Zvishavane to play against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium. 

“It’s a tight early schedule and we need to treat each game like a cup final. It promises to be a season with lots of competition. Almost every club has been busy on the market as we head for this early start of the season,” said Antipas. —@FungaiMuderere

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