HIGHLANDERS will play this Sunday’s Castle Laager Premier Soccer League home game against Bulawayo City in an empty stadium as punishment for their fans’ violent behaviour in August this year.
The order was announced by the Premier Soccer League on Thursday ahead of the crucial derby which is a must win for the title chasing Highlanders.
The punishment comes after a one all draw between Bosso and Chicken Inn in August ended violently following a controversial refereeing decision. Angry fans invaded the pitch and threw missiles at the police.
In a judgement released Thursday by the PSL Disciplinary Committee, Bosso was also fined $3, 500 with $1, 500 suspended for the rest of the season on condition that the club is not found guilty of the same offence within the same period.
Bosso is supposed to pay the effective $2, 000 by 30 November.
Highlanders, through CEO Ndumiso Gumede, pleaded innocent during the hearing and blamed the referee and the police for the violence. Gumede said the police used excessive force, adding that they were not adequately searching fans on entering the match venue.
Highlanders desperately need a title after they last won one in 2006 under coach Methembe Ndlovu. Despite losing some crucial matches this season, the Bulawayo giants have, of late, picked up good form.
The title race, which looks set to go to the wire, is already between leaders Caps United, FC Platinum and Highlanders, who are second and third on the log.