Barbourfields Stadium violence politically motivated?

Barbourfields Stadium violence politically motivated?
Published: 16 August 2016 (868 Views)

A GROWING trend of political extremism and violence seems to be taking root in our domestic football, with generally non-football fans attending matches to fulfil their agenda of disturbing the peace.

There has recently been a disturbing and increasing tendency by "fans" to turn to violence and brutality in games involving Bulawayo giants Highlanders, especially at Barbourfields Stadium, and our question is whether they are genuine Bosso fans or "wolves dressed in sheep's clothing". Are the violent-happy people that attend Highlanders' matches fans or activists taking advantage of the long held fallacy that Bosso fans are violent?

Those that want to brew violence must do it on their own and not hide behind our football disguised as Highlanders' fans for their selfish ambitions and at the same time tarnishing the image of the club. If you are given to violence, face the police on your own and not under the banner of Highlanders. We don't claim to speak for Highlanders, but the myth being peddled that Bosso fans are violent is as ridiculous as the once repeated fable that a certain club had seven million followers some years ago.

Football fans are emotional and generally resort to brief skirmishes on the terraces. However, what transpired at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday astonished even diehard Bosso fans. Yes, most of them were clad in Highlanders' replica jerseys and regalia, but the way they menacingly advanced towards the police lines in a column formation approach betrayed their identity. After all, there was no reason for Bosso fans to be that angry because their club had benefited from a last-minute decision by referee Nkosikhona Moyo to end the match just as Chicken Inn scored. The referee's contentious final whistle ensured that Highlanders shared the spoils with their neighbours and avoided what would have been an embarrassing fourth straight league defeat.

The match was peaceful until the referee signalled the end. When Bosso lost to newcomers Mutare City Rovers in their previous game at Barbourfields Stadium about a fortnight ago, their fans walked out en masse in disgust, so it was rather shocking for "them" to suddenly pick a fight with the cops instead of breathing a huge sigh of relief that they had been saved from the jaws of defeat by the referee's final whistle.

Real Highlanders' fans understand that every act of hooliganism and violence hits the club where it hurts most, the club's heavily depleted finances. The club is choking from debt of over half-a-million dollars and every violent incident and act of hooliganism at home matches costs the club $2 000, further sinking Bosso into financial abyss.

Bosso fans would not want to be the cause of the club's ballooning debt and hence our belief that those responsible for Sunday's violent and brutal acts are not Highlanders' supporters, but unscrupulous elements pushing a political agenda under cover of the Bosso fans' banner. Just over a week ago, the shadowy social media-based #This Flag campaign urged people to throng Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo for the second Test match between Zimbabwe and New Zealand, and to stand up and sing the national anthem in the 36th over, as a way of making a political statement.

After the group's objectives were thwarted by the police, it seems they or another grouping have targeted Highlanders' matches, taking advantage of the club's popularity and its fans' disappointment fed by the team's recent poor run.

We again repeat what we said then that politics should never be allowed to interfere with our sport and should find a stage somewhere in the political arena where they will meet their counterparts. Genuine fans, especially Highlanders ones, want to enjoy time out watching their favourite team and not some political soap opera.



- chronicle

Tags: Violence, Bosso, BF,
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