THE Premier Soccer League has fined Highlanders $2500 for the violence that followed their 3-1 loss to ZPC Kariba at Hartsfield on September 28.
After the match, Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu quit the club.
$500 was suspended for the rest of the season on condition that the club, its officials and fans are not convicted of a similar offence before the end of the season. Highlanders pleaded guilty to the offence.
In his match day report referee Arnold Ncube said: “Just after the match, Highlanders Supporters in black and white regalia started singing songs clamouring for Highlanders Head Coach (Kelvin Kaindu’s) head and the whole team.
“Just a few minutes later they started throwing stones and empty bottles to Highlanders, ZPC Kariba team players and Officials and the Referees who were at the centre of the field of play which resulted in two ZPC players Tawanda Nyamandwe (No 23,) and Tawanda Munyanduri (No 6) and the ball boy being struck by stones.
“In the process the substitute Board was also struck while the 4th Official was holding it. Riot Police had to rush into the field of play to provide shield to both teams and the officials.
“The situation normalised after about 30 minutes as the Zimbabwe Republic Police details quickly intervened and had to use tear gas to clear the stadium.”
Part of the judgements reads:
“In mitigation Highlanders Football Club representative pleaded with the committee to take note that the Club was also a victim because the attack was directed at its officials, the Head Coach as well as the team players.
“The club implored the responsible authority to assist in the identification of the culprits so that they would be prosecuted. The Club has been displaying anti-violence banners at its matches for the past three years but it appears this is not bearing any fruits.
“Hartsfield ground is not a ground to host such a big club as Highlanders F C. The club has no choice but to use the stadium due to national demands. Stones are everywhere and this makes it easy for rowdy supporters to get missiles. .
“In aggravation the Prosecution implored the committee to take stern disciplinary action against the club. Highlanders` disciplinary record leaves a lot to be desired and yet as the oldest club, they must lead by example. During the day in question property was damaged and there were injuries to players as well as a ball boy.Advertisement
“In arriving at the appropriate sentence, the committee took into account the fact that the club pleaded guilty. They will pay for the damaged property. They have tried to educate their supporters about the dangers of violence.
“However, we condemn in the strongest terms any acts of violence. Soccer is just a sport, a unifier, a family game, where people are free to interact and watch the game. It is not a war zone, where missiles are fired indiscriminately, without any due consequences. Violence in whatever form is just barbaric.
“The Police must apprehend all perpetrators and make them pay dearly. As a committee we will not hesitate to ban them from soccer for life if caught and brought before us. Whatever grievances they might have, supporters must learn to follow the correct channels to air them and not vent their anger on innocent souls.
“The suspended sentence will act as a deterrent and ensure the club does not commit a similar offence. We are as usual guided by the standing orders and the principle of uniformity and consistency in dealing with such cases.”