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Uhuru Cup cautions won't carry over to PSL

by Staff reporter
20 Apr 2022 at 08:02hrs | Views
THE red card shown to Dynamos' utility player Shadreck Nyahwa by referee Arnold Ncube in the Independence Cup final against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium on Monday will not have any effect in Premier Soccer League games.

Highlanders won the tension-filled encounter 1-0 through a 55th minute strike from Stanley Ngala.

DeMbare finished the match with 10 players after Nyahwa was shown a straight red card in the 87th minute for a dangerous high tackle on Mbongeni Ndlovu, who he kicked in the head as tempers threatened to boil.

Highlanders' anchorman Nqobizitha Masuku was lucky to escape without a caution, as he reacted angrily by grabbing Nyahwa by the neck, triggering a scuffle that almost degenerated into a fist fight between both sets of players.

Instead, referee Ncube erroneously booked Tandi instead of Masuku when the situation calmed down.

Just like Nyahwa, Tandi and Godknows Murwira's yellow cards won't carry into the PSL.

"The cards shown to players during the Independence Cup final don't have any bearing on the players when they go for their Premiership games. Monday's game was an invitational competition, which had its own rules and regulations," said Xolisani Gwesela, acting Zifa chief executive officer.

Another player who was lucky to escape without caution and could have cost his side is Highlanders' defender Andrew Mbeba, who was captured in a video that has gone viral elbowing Dynamos striker Emmanuel Paga in the face in an off the ball incident.

In the 16-second clip, Mbeba deliberately elbows Paga inside the penalty area as Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda prepared to take a goal kick, with Bosso and DeMbare players moving out of the 18-area.

The video shows Nyahwa and Murwira protesting at the referee demanding that he takes action against Mbeba.

Ncube, who missed the incident, ignored the pleas and let the game continue.

Had there been VAR (video assistant referee), the matter would have been dealt with and Mbeba given his marching orders, while Dynamos got a penalty.

The match itself did not really live up to its billing, with flashes of brilliance in an otherwise cautious tie, as both teams feared losing than go on all out attacks.

There was very little goalmouth action throughout the match, as all attacks were easily snuffed by both teams' defence, with the exception of the goal by Ngala.

In fact, Bosso keeper Ariel Sibanda wasn't even tested throughout the match, while his Dynamos counterpart Tymon Mvula was only tested once by Masuku's free-kick, which he parried over for a corner.

Other than that, there were more skirmishes between the two sets of players, which could have easily torched crowd trouble had the referee not calmly diffused the tensions.

A capacity crowd filled Barbourfields Stadium to watch the match and the last time such a huge crowd watched a game at the venue was in January 2019 when FC Platinum played host to Orlando Pirates in a Caf Champions League encounter.

That game was sold out and Nesisa Mpofu, the Bulawayo City Council senior public relations officer, indicated that the last such crowd had been recorded at Barbourfields Stadium in the 1990s.

On Independence Day, fans watched Highlanders and Dynamos free of charge, and indications are that the numbers were higher than those that paid to watch the goalless encounter between FC Platinum and Pirates.

Highlanders' supporters, who usually watch their team's home games from the Soweto End, arrived at the venue in the morning and witnessed the main ceremony and festivities, probably fearing missing out on the big game.

There had been initial fears that Bosso fans would arrive at Barbourfields Stadium in the afternoon and cause pandemonium, demanding entry to watch their team.

Independence Cup organisers should also be commended for preventing a stampede ahead of the football match by creating a safe exit for school children that occupied the southern stand, popularly known as Empakweni, to allow in multitudes of Bosso supporters that were stranded outside the stadium.

The stadium was packed to capacity in the morning as crowds milled outside waiting for an opportunity to be allowed in and the lucky ones occupied spaces vacated by schoolchildren that entertained people in the first main Independence Day celebrations to be held outside Harare since 1980.

Source - The Chronicle
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