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Mandava violence: Police arrest 15 hooligans

by Staff reporter
26 Apr 2022 at 08:19hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police have arrested 15 people in connection with acts of hooliganism that occurred during the Castle Lager Premiership football match between FC Platinum and Highlanders at Mandava on Saturday.

The suspects are in police custody and more could be apprehended as the law enforcement agents look to go to the bottom of the matter.

Property and team buses were vandalised after suspected Highlanders supporters stormed the pitch in protest of a penalty decision and then had running battles with the police in the aftermath of the abandoned match.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the police are still conducting investigations.

"ZRP is conducting investigations in connection with violence which transpired during the FC Platinum and Highlanders game on Saturday. So far 15 suspects are in police custody.

"We will give a conclusive statement after investigations.

If anyone engages in any form of violence outside the football pitch, or inside the police have the mandate to maintain law and order and we will not hesitate to move in," said Nyathi.

However, the Bulawayo side yesterday issued out a scathing statement which placed the blame on the way the police on duty reacted to crowd trouble.

Nyathi said he will have to find out from the Officer Commanding Midlands if Highlanders raised any concerns against the police that were on duty on the day.

The Premier Soccer League have asked FC Platinum and Highlanders to furnish them with reports on what transpired during their league match which was abandoned in the 84th minute after the hosts were awarded a penalty with the two teams on 1-1.

The league will be in a position to comment only after they have received the clubs' reports.

The league's spokesperson Kudzai Bare said they have since requested for the reports.

"We are awaiting reports from the clubs on the matter.

We will issue a statement afterwards.

We have asked them to furnish us with the reports.

They are yet to officially communicate to us," said Bare.

Highlanders have pre-empted the contents of their report, after they issued a statement blaming the police for being heavy-handed in their response to the pitch invasions and the anarchy outside the stadium.

Bosso said in a statement that they were not happy with the heavy-handedness response by the police who threw tear gas and made the situation worse after a section of supporters had invaded the pitch in protest against a late penalty awarded to the hosts.

The shocking statement from Highlanders, which just fell short of justifying the rowdy behaviour by their fans, used strong words against the police on duty labelling their actions "violent and thuggish behaviour".

"Highlanders Football Club would like to condemn in strongest sense, the conduct of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers who were entrusted with the responsibility to provide security during a Premier Soccer League match between FC Platinum and Highlanders at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.

"The club understands ZRP to be a stakeholder of the game whose mandate is to provide security for players, officials and the fans. The violent and thuggish behaviour by ZRP towards fans and players cannot be tolerated as it brings our football into disrepute.

"Whilst the club does not condone pitch invasion and missile throwing by a section of football fans it was unnecessary for ZRP to throw tear smoke towards fans as this behaviour ended up affecting players, officials and some innocent fans.

"The act was against the basic principles of crowd management and as a result, the victims were players and officials who ZRP purported to protect.

"As if that was not enough, ZRP further went on a rampage, assaulting innocent fans outside the stadium and in some instances beating up vehicles they perceived to be belonging to, and ferrying Highlanders fans.

"The club takes this opportunity to assure its members, fans and all other stakeholders of its commitment to its values of Ubuntu, which encompasses such ethics as respect for self and respect for others, hence further commitment to engage all other stakeholders, ZRP involved, in trying to bring to an end hooliganism and violence in the stadia.

"We further take this opportunity to empathise with all the innocent victims of yesterday's acts of violence and condemn a few individuals who were involved in the acts of pitch invasion and missile throwing," read the statement.




Source - The Chronicle