Jere confident of safe football resumption after meeting

19 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Jere confident of safe football resumption after meeting Farai Jere

The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi-Senior Sports Reporter

PREMIER Soccer League chairman Farai Jere yesterday said it was necessary to suspend domestic topflight football action and gather all critical stakeholders under one roof to find solutions to the problem of violence and hooliganism since the whole system was contributing to the flaws.

The PSL boss said he was convinced the problem, which has affected about three matches in the last month, goes beyond the chaos that was witnessed at the weekend when the high-profile match between Dynamos and Highlanders was abandoned because of crowd trouble.

According to Jere, the league is facing a serious crisis whereby their brand and that of their sponsors was at stake, hence the drastic decision to suspend the games and attend to the scourge.

The PSL leadership is tomorrow expected to host an indaba that will be attended by security officials including the Zimbabwe Republic Police, club security officers and marshals as well as stadium owners. 

“The decision which we’ve made is premised on the fact that if you look at what happened at Barbourfields, it happened just two weeks after what happened at Mandava,” said Jere.

“We are looking at a situation which is a crisis in our own view after we had sat down and analysed all the factors which are there and some video evidence which is there. We actually need all stakeholders to sit down and come up with a solution before we move forward.

“This happened just two weeks before another derby, CAPS/Dynamos match, which is also another high profile game coming up.

“We then decided to have all stakeholders sit in one room this weekend, to see if all of us are aligned and playing their part.

“We have to ask questions like are you playing your part as the security guard, marshals, referees and as PSL and see if there’s any need for reinforcement because we don’t want these same problems to keep happening.

“These decisions where a lot of people are saying we just fine people and clubs and move on, that has been done for several years and it has not stopped this.

“So this is quite a unique decision, which is proper and which is going to come up with a solution to the current problem which we have.

“This is our own opinion and observation from what is coming up. We cannot just wake up and start playing football again when we have got incidents of this nature happening, whereby we feel that all stakeholders did not play their part to the expectations.”

Jere said the Premiership games are expected to resume next week.

“It’s just one week, just this weekend. We don’t have time to waste. In as far as I can repeat, it was very necessary to put everything on standby for just one week to make sure that we are all aligned.

“Next week, matches are resuming. On Monday I am sure you will start to see the fixtures. But we need to correct this problem and get ideas from everyone,” said Jere.

However, the decision to shelve games has apparently not gone down well with some stakeholders, who felt they were being wrongly punished for the wrongs of the unruly Dynamos and Highlanders supporters.

“Let me tell you something about decisions when they’re being made. Ninety percent of great decisions don’t please everyone, even at household level. But in most cases 90 percent of those decisions will be correct.

“A number of people who I spoke to and have been asking me why we came up with the decision, are now appreciating it, including the ZIFA vice-president. He called me and said that he will support me wherever I am going, it’s a noble decision.

“At times lack of information creates information gaps and leads people to speculation, and we all have got a right to do that.

“But our job as football leadership is to think and make decisions and then we are critiqued. To fine the teams is the generic decision which we have in our files, which always happens but this time around we wanted to make it different and see if we can uproot this problem for good.

“If it means that we need to increase the number of police at Highlanders or Dynamos matches, let it be because we will now be getting this information from the stakeholders whom we cannot answer on their behalf or who cannot give us their position just by imposing a fine to either teams,” said Jere.

The PSL leadership are also expected to take the opportunity to discuss the issue of referees with their leadership following various complaints from clubs about the questionable officiating in the league.

Matches involving Dynamos/Highlanders and CAPS United were known to be handled by referees on the FIFA panel who are experienced to handle such high tempo matches.

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