Gate charges hike blows in Bosso executives’ face Kelvin Kaindu

Lovemore Dube, [email protected]

HIGHLANDERS’ decision to hike prices for their game against Manica Diamonds in a Castle Lager Premiership match played yesterday backfired as less than 5 000 fans paid to watch the tie.

The club hiked charges to try and contain their expenses following a weekend in which their women’s team was in Mutare for a national league commitment. The men’s senior side was in Kariba for the drawn league match against the power utility side.

In justifying the hike, Bosso argued that they have another away match coming up against Greenfuel and they need to finance the trip.

The usual gate charges are US$3 for the rest of the ground but in a crazy decision, Bosso hiked charges to US$5. Comments from social media indicated that the crowd would be smaller than usual given that the tie was a mid-week fixture.

The team’s poor form made things worse. Fans openly criticised the decision with some calling for a boycott of the match.

The 4 000 or so who braved the chilly weather went home facing the reality that Highlanders is a mediocre side buoyed by a vociferous crowd.

Take the crowd away, the team struggles and that was laid bare in the match against Manica Diamonds.
The decision appeared a recipe for crowd trouble. Tempers were high, made even worse by some decisions by the referee of the day Lawrence Zimondi who made some questionable calls.

It even got worse when Manica stuck to the usual time-killing stunts by the visiting teams where they feigned injuries. More often for the visitors, the match officials did not enforce carrying injured players on the stretcher off the field.

But once a Bosso player was down, the referee Zimondi at one stage appeared to call the ambulance crew quicker than their opponents yet the visitors had more frequency on the floor.

At some stage, some decisions seemed to fuel the inside anger brought about by the high entry fees.
Referee aside, Highlanders have just been riding on Lady Luck.

As the referee blew the half-time whistle, Kelvin Kaindu stood in the technical box and watched as his troops walked towards him on their way to the dressing room.

One could not help but sympathise with the Zambian coach. He has lemons and is expected to make orange juice.
Expectations of a championship should be matched with quality. Highlanders do not have that and the sooner they accept and hunt for good players with decent physique to match FC Platinum, Simba Bhora, Manica Diamonds and ZPC Kariba, then can they say they are in the same league as their opponents.

With the material at his disposal, the big question is what will he tell those average players, who seem to lack a simple thing, the zeal to win.

In so many instances, the Bosso players in all departments appeared out of depth and not geared for the challenge and had to thank poor finishing by the visitors for the draw.Kaindu needs to overhaul the team or ask his bosses to be patient while he rebuilds.

Highlanders are away to Greenfuel at the weekend and will hope that their fortunes change for the better and they play more constructively as a unit.

Yesterday, the defence was found wanting, the wings occupied by Andrew Mbeba and Marvelous Chigumira failed to sparkle and as usual, the centre did what was expected, to concede a goal.

The midfield had Melikhaya Ncube, not your everyday kind of combative defensive midfielder overwhelmed at times with up to three players thwarting his creativity by suffocating him of the ball.
Once possession was lost, Bosso looked vulnerable.

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