PSL boss calls for stiff penalties Farai Jere

Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau

PREMIER Soccer League chairman Farai Jere yesterday said the scenes witnessed at Mandava which led to the abandonment of the Castle Lager Premiership match between FC Platinum and CAPS United were unacceptable and promised appropriate action to nip the problem in the bud. 

The match was called off with four minutes of regulation time remaining due to security concerns for the referees after an army of Caps United faithfuls invaded the pitch in protest over a disallowed goal. 

Jere, who is also the president of CAPS United, expressed his disappointment with the incident, which was the first episode of violence to mar Premiership action this season.

The incident happened while he was outside the country on a business trip. He said there will be no sacred cows as the PSL Disciplinary Committee will be tasked to deal with the issue in the shortest possible time. Jere hinted Makepekepe will have to pay the price.

“This is totally unacceptable. I’m not around but I’ve been reading and watching what has been happening. We don’t take the law into our own hands. What CAPS United supporters did is unacceptable in whatever way you look at it,” said Jere. 

“CAPS United fans should not have taken the law into their own hands. It’s unacceptable, it’s very wrong. We have seen decisions being made which are not correct in football but the game moves on. 

“At the end of the day we want football to be the winner. The referee’s decision is final. When the referee signalled that it was an offside, there was still two minutes to play and there was going to be additional time and we could have scored one or two goals, it happens in football. 

“This is now going to put the position of the club in a very bad state and to a bigger extent the brand PSL and our football at large. We want our fans to come and enjoy football. Football this year is exciting with the way things are happening.”

Makepekepe were trailing FC Platinum 0-1 at the time the match was called off after Juan Mutudza had struck for the hosts in the first-half.

There was joy for the visiting team when Ralph Kawondera found the back of the nets with a spectacular curling effort in the 86th minute but the Green Machine’s celebrations were cut short after assistant referee Mncedisi Maphosa raised his flag to signal offside.

It was a difficult call to make and as centre referee, Gweru-based Lloyd Mapanje, went over to the assistant to consult, it was at this stage that Caps United fans invaded the pitch resulting in a 20-minute stoppage.

Match commissioner Brighton Nyika said the match was abandoned as a result of security concerns by the referees.

Jere said supporters and stakeholders must respect the referees and ensure their safety is not compromised. He said referees operate in pressure situations and sometimes have to make decisions in a split second hence there was room for mistakes.

“This is part of football, you know. People make mistakes, we err and at times it’s a misjudgement, not deliberate. So, it’s not good for us for us to then judge and come out with positions because laws of the game are changing every day,” said Jere. 

“Let’s protect our referees so that we enjoy football. There are always rules. I know there is an attempt which is there to have good refereeing in our football and as PSL in response to that they reduced the number of referees so that we have quality and all those moves we are seeing them happening. 

“We need to respect life; we need to respect our referees; we need to respect their decisions and if we are to complain there is a channel that is used for complaints against referees. 

CAPS United take on newly promoted side Bikita Minerals this afternoon at Rufaro Stadium in Harare in Match Day 3 of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

“Some of them are being suspended and the reports are coming to us. But generally, the quality of our refereeing has improved. They are doing quite a tremendous job. We are seeing teams winning home and away.

“You can go to any venue and come out with a result. But let’s not forget that football is an emotional game. Emotions at times rise but we should actually be in a position to then think about the consequences of our actions.” 

Jere said the rules will be applied without fear or favour. 

“It’s something that the system is going to look at and appropriate action shall be taken against the club and its fans. That’s how we operate and it’s a normal process. . . 

“Let the disciplinary team do their work and come out with results as soon as possible. I would have loved the verdict to come out as soon as Wednesday so that some of these things are decided quickly and we don’t confuse our dear fans and our football loving nation,” said Jere.


You Might Also Like