Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS have urged their traveling fans to be cautious and carry their own water as well as avoiding eating at open public places in Gweru tomorrow due to a typhoid outbreak in the Midlands capital.
The outbreak has already claimed lives.
Bosso are expecting a massive turnout from their football starved fans travelling from Bulawayo and Harare for their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Nichrut at Ascot Stadium.
Highlanders chief executive officer NhlanhlaDube made the passionate appeal yesterday, a day after the government postponed the National Youth and Paralympic Games that were scheduled to start in Gweru on Wednesday.
A group of Bosso fans known as Team Away are organizing a potentially big roadshow to Gweru.
“We immediately find ourselves in need of speaking to the Nichrut game in two ways. First, to highlight and appeal to our travelling fans who we know will be travelling in their numbers that they must at all times be cautious around issues of food and water especially in public spaces, public ablutions.
We don’t want to raise alarm but certainly we’ve been informed by the medical team who also have been informed by their colleagues to take serious precaution around water. So, we encourage people travelling that they carry their water and avoid eating from open public spaces and wash their hands at all times because of outbreak of typhoid which is water borne and so easy to be passed from one person to another,” said Dube.
“The second one is to encourage peace, orderliness that makes football what it is.We know people are worried about violence that broke out at that particular venue.Let’s remember football is a sport where players try to outplay each other.It’s a highly emotional game but we must remember that at the end of 90 minutes we must accept that we can draw, lose or win.
“Any form of violence will not help us as a sporting nation. We call on both set of fans (Highlanders and Nichrut) to avoid provocative situations at all time.
We’ll like to say ‘suffer fools gladly’ that is the hallmark of leadership. We see Highlanders leading and setting the pace in football behavior. We applaud our fans again, the majority who have shown that it’s possible to have a season where Highlanders is not associated with misdemeanors coming from the terraces. We’re halfway through the season, let’s not allow any untoward behavior to provoke us into behavior that will tarnish brand Highlanders, brand PSL, brand Zimbabwe football and certainly sponsors,” added Dube.
Highlanders have been inactive for three weekends, with their last game being a hard-fought 1-0 away win against Triangle United on July 22.
They were then supposed to play perennial rivals Dynamos after the Triangle game, but due to the harmonised elections that were held on July 30, the PSL suspended its programme with matches only resuming last weekend. All the teams, save for Highlanders and Dynamos were in action when the league games finally resumed at the weekend.
The chance to see midseason additions, midfielder Denzel Khumalo and striking duo of Tinashe Makanda as well as Tafadzwa Sibanda in action could also drive more Bosso fans to travel to Gweru tomorrow.
Team Away have organised minibuses to carry Highlanders supporters to and from Bulawayo at a fee of $10 for the return trip. The buses will leave from Tredgold via the Clubhouse at 11AM tomorrow. — @ZililoR