DeMbare match now water under the bridge

Fungai Muderere

HIGHLANDERS head coach Baltemar Brito has said their last weekend’s game against Dynamos that was punctuated by chaotic scenes that saw the match being abandoned after 38 minutes, is now water under the bridge.

The game was prematurely called off after fans from Barbourfields Stadium’s Soweto End engaged in some ugly violent scenes with the police all in an effort to register their displeasure with referee Allen Basvi’s decisions.

Dynamos fans also joined in the fracas.

By then Bosso were already trailing DeMbare by two goals to nil.

“Now we seek to rise again. We don’t want to talk about the Dynamos game because it is now water under the bridge. We want to talk about our next game, against Yadah. This is where our fans should come to show their true love for the team. The boys need support even after they have lost two consecutive matches,” said Brito.

Bosso are on Sunday set to play host to Yadah Stars at Barbourfields Stadium.

However, the Miracle Boys on Tuesday, through their lawyers, wrote to Castle Lager Premier Soccer chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele seeking to have their game against Bosso be played at a neutral venue or behind closed doors.

Yadah expressed serious reservations against visiting Emagumeni asking to play before an empty Barbourfields Stadium or move to a neutral stadium with Batá Stadium in Gweru being their suggested venue. While Ndebele acknowledged receiving the request, on Thursday he was yet to officially respond to the club.

Yadah, through Rubaya and Chatambudza legal practitioners, said the safety and well-being of its fans, players, officials and other stakeholders would be compromised in the upcoming fixture.

They argue that last Sunday’s violence followed what Highlanders fans deemed an unfair refereeing decision and, as such, it set a precedent where match officials would feel intimidated to perform professionally against Bosso, especially at Barbourfields Stadium.

“Consequent to these unfortunate events, our client is of the firm belief that it will be extremely challenging for it to receive fair treatment from the match officials. The psychological impact of the violence, coupled with the lack of accountability for the responsible, casts a shadow of doubt on the objectivity and impartiality of the officiating team that will be in charge of the match in circumstances where Highlanders fans will be in attendance. This situation greatly undermines the principles of fair play and jeopardises the integrity of the game.”

Asked if they would accept playing Yadah at a neutral venue, Brito said: “I think that’s not my job to comment on that. But we can always play them anywhere and we are optimistic we are going to win,” said Brito.

Week 23 Fixtures
Bulawayo Chiefs v Highlanders (Barbourfields Stadium), Cranborne Bullets v Hwange (Nyamhunga), Herentals v Black Rhinos (Mandava),Ngezi Platinum Stars v Greenfuel (Baobab), Manica Diamonds v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo)

CAPS United v Chicken Inn (Bata), Highlanders v Yadah Stars (Barbourfields), Simba Bhora v Sheasham (Baobab), Triangle v FC Platinum (Gibbo)

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