DeMbare’s chilling warning Rodrick Mutuma

Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS issued a chilling warning last night that they could pull out of the NetOne Easycall semi-final showdown against Highlanders at Barbourfields on Sunday in protest over what they claim to be a vendetta being waged against them by the Premier Soccer League leadership. The Glamour Boys’ leadership was due to meet again last night and should club president Kenny Mubaiwa agree with his executive members, who have endorsed the decision to pull out of the tournament, then Dynamos will withdraw from the tourney giving Bosso the victory without a ball being kicked.

But such an action could be a slap in the face of the sponsors, who have been counting on this flagship showdown to boost their mileage and SuperSport, who have been working all week to broadcast the big match live from Barbourfields.

DeMbare are unhappy that the PSL leadership appear to be treating them with a heavy hand while, at the same time, treating their rivals with kids’ gloves as and when they commit similar offences.

The situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that there is a feeling within the Dynamos executive that the composition of the PSL leadership — where CAPS United vice president Twine Phiri is the boss and Highlanders’ chairman Peter Dube is the vice chairman, with former Bosso leader Kenny Ndebele being the chief executive — is hostile to the interests of the Glamour Boys.

Matters came to a head this week when the PSL sanctioned Dynamos’ forwards, Takesure Chinyama and Rodreck Mutuma, for bringing football into disrepute when they charged at referee Philani Ncube at the end of a stormy Chibuku Super Cup final against Harare City, which the Glamour Boys lost.

The PSL Disciplinary Committee found the two strikers guilty and suspended them for four matches, which means they will miss the Easycall semi-final against Highlanders this weekend and also fined them for their conduct.

DeMbare feel that the whole process was stage-managed and timed to perfection to ensure that the two strikers will not only be elbowed out of consideration for the Soccer Stars of the Year, with the judgment being fast-tracked to be released on Sunday night, hours before the selection process, but also that they miss the Easycall Cup semi-final.

The Dynamos officials are also unhappy that journalists and coaches, who were part of the panel that voted for the Soccer Stars of the Year, were advised of the fate of the two players before judgment had been delivered to the concerned parties as should be the norm in a professional set-up.

“There is no question that we are getting a very raw deal from the PSL and it’s there for everyone to see and if they don’t want us to be part of the league then they should just tell us because it doesn’t make sense that our players are punished for this offence and Highlanders players, who behaved in a similar, if not worse manner, are not punished,” Dynamos secretary-general Webster Chikengezha told The Herald.

“We submitted images of the incidents showing Highlanders players charging at the referee at Mandava, as part of our defence, and questioning why they were not charged if the playing field is level and we also submitted images of How Mine players charging at the referees and wondered why they were not being punished.

“Of course, it appears all this was ignored because the PSL wanted to just ensure that we get punished, no matter the extenuating circumstances and when one looks at the timing of the release of the judgment and how it was released, there is no question that this was all meant to ensure that our players are not considered for the Soccer Stars of the Year and also they will not be involved in the game against Highlanders this coming week- end.

“We even had a situation where those who were selecting the Soccer Stars of the Year knew that our players had been found guilty before the decision had been communicated to us, as a club, and them as individuals and that is very unprofessional.

“If the PSL don’t want us to be part of their tournaments they should not hide behind weakening us by ensuring that our top two strikers don’t play, but they should be brave enough to tell us that they don’t want us and we will not bother them.

“We are doing our consultations and we are only waiting for the approval of the club president and if he says ‘yes’, then we will withdraw from the Easycall semi-final, write a letter of apology to NetOne and tell them that we are sorry that we are dragging their good name into this mess and then go on holiday.”

Chinyama and Mutuma denied the charges of bringing football into disrepute when they appeared before a PSL Disciplinary Committee, but they were still found guilty as charged.

“The accused players are hereby ordered to pay each a fine of $1 500, US$500 of which is suspended for the remainder of the season on condition the player is not convicted of any offence involving any general unsportsmanship conduct,” reads the judgment.

“The effective fine of $1 000, together with costs of the hearing, is to be paid by the 31st of December, 2015. The accused players are further each banned from participating in four officially sanctioned matches by the PSL with immediate effect.

“Mr Pilani Ncube, the referee, gave evidence to the effect that he saw both accused charge at him in a threatening manner when he had blown the whistle to end the game. “Mutuma was more vocal and in the process abused him saying that ‘muri mabharanzi, that is why you were fired from Cosafa’, among other insulting words. Chinyama was busy shouting as well.

“Both accused were restrained by the police and security details from both clubs. The match official Mr Brighton Mudzamiri corroborated material aspects of the referee’s evidence.

“He said he observed both accused charge at the referee uttering unprintable words and making reference to their ineptitude hence being fired at Cosafa,“muri mabharanzi that’s why muchidzingwa ku COSAFA . . .”

“Mr Mudzamiri said he even cautioned Chinyama to cool down, which fact was acknowledged by Chinyama. The evidence of Mr Ncube and Mr Mudzamiri was credible. Their evidence was corroborated by the video evidence.

“Both accused admitted being emotional and unhappy with the referee’s decisions. They admit they went towards the referee to question his decisions. Mr Chikengezha seemed to condone the players’ behaviour saying they were correct to charge at the referee because he was biased.

“He queried why How Mine players were not charged for charging at the referee, accusing PSL of bias. The evidence against the accused was so overwhelming. Mutuma even went to use derogatory words against the referee during the proceedings. The evidence against the accused was so overwhelming.

“It is clear that they thought they would get away with it since in their opinion How Mine FC players had done the same in their match with them. It is not our responsibility to charge offending parties. You can’t condone misconduct on the basis that you saw someone misbehaving as well. As such, we find both accused guilty of abusive language and unsporting behaviour.

“In arriving at the appropriate sentence we have taken into account the fact that there is a need to ensure that players are deterred from acting on their emotions. The behaviour displayed on the video is quite threatening — someone charging at the referee in that manner can only lead one to think that they may act on their emotions and possibly assault the official.

“A threat of violence is indeed violence.” “There is need, therefore, to send a very strong message to deter such people. They could have easily incited public violence.”

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