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Unruly fans cost Highlanders

by Staff reporter
29 Dec 2018 at 16:52hrs | Views
BULAWAYO soccer giants Highlanders lost more than half of its prize money in fines due to bad behaviour by some of their fans who either threw missiles or invaded the pitch during the club's games.

Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe revealed yesterday that some unruly fans cost the team significant amounts, leading to the Bulawayo giants getting a third of their Chibuku Super Cup prize money as well as about half of the Castle Lager Premiership pickings for finishing fifth.

"As I thank the supporters for rallying behind the team this season, creating a great atmosphere for players home and away, I would like to express our disappointment at some of the fans who contributed to us losing significant amounts because of fines for incidents that can be avoided.

"We were supposed to get $15 000 for being losing quarter-finalists in the Chibuku Super Cup but after fines we got just $5 000. For finishing fifth in the PSL our prize money was $40 000 but only banked $22 000, with the bulk being chewed by fines caused by some unrepentant fans. So look, instead of us getting a total of $55 000, we got $27 000, which is half of what we were entitled to.

"That money could have gone a long way in assisting the club.

"What is disturbing is that as Highlanders, we continue engaging our fans through social media, mainstream media, at the stadium as well as roadshows to desist from acts of misconduct, but some of them are unrepentant.

"As we celebrate the festive season, on behalf of the club, I'm appealing to our fans, their families to retrospect and encourage each other against behaviour that will cost the club significant amounts next season.

"Remember, that one orange or water bottle which cost about a $1 one throws to the pitch expensively costs $2 000, so let's refrain from such acts of misconduct," said Mhlophe.

For the better part of the season Bosso fans showed exemplary behaviour. The league summoned Bosso once for a disciplinary hearing, following an incident where their fans threw missiles during the 4-0 defeat to Chapungu at Ascot Stadium on October 25.

Highlanders supporters got angry and started throwing missiles onto the pitch causing a 28-minute stoppage after Chapungu midfielder Edmore Muzanenhamo celebrated his team's opener in front of them. Mhlophe said as a club they will keep on engaging their fans, and hopes that the football authorities complement their efforts.

"As the chairman, who was chosen to represent the will of the majority Highlanders members, my duty is to supervise the secretariat and comment on policy matters.

"However, if our supporters are bleeding the club through acts of misconducts, then that becomes worrying and calls for the attention of the executive which I lead.

"We will not be dormant when a few individuals cost the club, hence our continued stance in preaching the gospel against any acts of misconduct.

"It's our hope that the PSL and other stakeholders take note of our efforts to do away with hooliganism and disturbing behaviour at stadiums," said Mhlophe.

During this year's annual general meeting in January members unanimously implored the club leadership to pursue legal action against pitch invaders and missile throwers during the team's matches.

The members said some of the hooligans are well known and had been invading the pitch willy-nilly yet the club suffered financial losses due to fines and deduction of points.

Source - chronicle