BULAWAYO football giants Highlanders have been summoned to appear before the Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary committee next Tuesday for crowd trouble, which led to the abandonment of their league match against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders, whose supporters pelted assistant referee Thomas Kusosa with missiles and invaded the pitch, are charged for flouting Order 31 of the PSL rules and regulations.
“The PSL has summoned Highlanders FC to appear before the disciplinary committee following incidents of hooliganism that occurred at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday May 14, 2017 at a Castle Lager PSL match between Highlanders and Dynamos resulting in the abandonment of the match,” the PSL said in statement, condemning violence and apologising to all stakeholders.
The game, which had attracted the largest crowd of 18 177 paying spectators so far, was called off after 40 minutes.
This was after Dynamos equalised through Christian Epoupa, a goal which was disputed by Highlanders players, who mobbed Kusosa, leading to the match official being pelted with missiles by the Bulawayo giants’ fans.
Highlanders had scored through Rahman Kutsanzira in the 23rd minute.
The fans continued with their action until match commissioner Edson Nkau said the game could no longer continue because of crowd trouble.
The bone of contention from the Highlanders players and supporters was that the Cameroonian was in an offside position when he scored and Kusosa did not flag the player for offside.
Epoupa picked up on a deflection from Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa to slot in the contested goal and the Bosso fans were of the view that Kusosa ignored the offside call.
Gladmore Muzambi, the Zifa referees’ committee vice-chairman and a qualified referees’ instructor, yesterday took time to explain the offside rule closest to Sunday’s scenario making sure he did not pass a judgment.
“I have looked at clip which is circulating on social media, but I’m not passing judgment. The explanation close to our scenario of gaining advantage is if the ball is last played by the defender and goes to the attacker who was already in an offside position, then there is no offside if the ball was played deliberately.
“The second scenario is where the ball deflects off the defender and changes direction and goes to the attacker who is already in an offside position, then the attacker is offside. How then does one judge whether play is deliberate or deflection? A clear movement of body to the ball or did the ball travel to a stationary player and change direction, then that is a deflection under the banner of gaining advantage. I cannot make a conclusive decision on this clip because it is not very clear. I will need to see the SuperSport one,” Muzambi said.
The referee of the day was Munyaradzi Majoni and the first assistant was Edgar Rumeck, all from Midlands.
The fourth official was Pilani Ncube from Bulawayo.