Monday, October 1, 2012

Bosso shall rise

It was bound to happen and the sooner it did, the better. Now we know. Questions of the fair play and integrity in the beautiful game linger as the ugly reminders of ASIAGATE are claimed to have been the order of the day in some quarters as Highlanders were nursing wounds of the first defeat in 2012.

After 23 matches on the trot, amid the infamous 8 draws, Highlanders burst during an encounter with Monomotapa of Harare who recorded a 3-0 over Tshilamoya. Bosso had returned from a very fruitful but bruising encounter with Hwange in which they won 1-0, some five hours drive away. After 10 road-drive hours, they embarked on a similar trip for that fatal fixture within days of each other.

Not that Monos just enjoyed the afternoon running on fresh legs, but given that Dynamos had the luxury of having extra rest days, became unbearable for the Bulawayans. Dynamos were involved with Shabanie Mine the following day and prevailed.

At this moment, Dembare lead the Castle Premier League race by 2 points. That match is reported to have raised eye-brows by the way the opposition displayed their sportsmanship. To be blunt, many suspect match-fixing.

While Zimbabweans are notoriously popular for throwing matches, it is not a disease that can be wiped away just like that. Even FIFA has not prescribed an antidote for the rot and Bosso being in Zimbabwe, should know better.

Without any labels and suggestions, Dembare may face further similar treatment from other teams, officials and even fixturing. The PSL has been urged to synchronise matches involving the two giants. They are not obliged to. They run the league as they like. It would be expecting a baby elephant from a chicken egg to have things tailored for the benefit of Highlanders.

In these pages, we featured an argument how the platform does not favour Bosso and by now, Highlanders should know that. Seemingly incompetent officiating and other issues about when and where the matches are played dampened the spirit of players, fans and technical department. For the club to be where they are under the harsh conditions shows class.

Highlanders is a team of class and the club can be run better of course, given the issue of the treasurer, but for now, that is not the point. The harsh reality is that despite all cries of foul play for help, no one can take away the Dynamos privilege of being Dynamos.

All Highlanders need to do is to fight harder against all forces and odds. Like in the last fixture, they may not win everything against the barriers ahead. Actually, even in cases where they can overcome, they should have it in good knowledge that their foes may never have to raise a sweat, by design or default.

There is 7 fixtures that are there to be won and lost, actually, 6. These have to be a toss up laced with hope for miracles. It is the mid-week's kind of fortune that Bosso needs where Chicken Inn plucked the Harare giant's wings at BF. Otherwise, the pushing and fighting means that both teams will amass 18 points form these remaining matches.

Crucially, the two will clash and it is where the championship will have to be decided. On another day, one could use the terms like 'separating boys from men' but that has already been done. It was done many fixtures ago.

For a team of young boys, young coach and meagre resources, recording 23 matches without loss is an achievement that will last for ages, even if many try to manipulate the system. Bosso fought tooth and nail and against all odds to be where they are today. Only men can do that.

Only Dynamos can fight the system. Only Dynamos can change the philosophy and only Dynamos can manipulate the situation but only Bosso sets the records, and in style.

It is natural to summon for the PSL secretary general, Kenny Ndebele, to do something. Kenny does not work for Highlanders anymore. He was the SG of the club during its most colourful years under Col James Mangwana Tshuma. He chaired the club years later and served the club well.

Now Ndebele runs the national league. Whether he should favour Bosso or snuggle to the Dynamos politics is neither here and there. His duties are in the interest of both teams and unfortunately the permanent scale is a sliding one, in which Bosso is below Dynamos. If he were in that position as an ambassador for Bosso, things would be different.

Kenny Ndebele should know better though, that people expect rationality and he may not be popular with 15 clubs if he promoted the interest of one. What choice will he choose? It is a little obvious if the man's children will be fed and have the school fees paid.

At the end of the day, as painfully true as it is, Bosso will have to brutally fight their bruising battles alone with their battered backs against the wall. In doing so, they can count on their cheering fans and bask at the jeering of their foes.

It is such set-backs that make the victories so much sweet. It is the mark of the true champions, to fight fairly despite the conditions and prevail. To overcome the bad actors and the terrain, to be victorious in darkness and without resources satisfies the soul.

There is nothing much one can do if the league places concrete walls in front of Tshilamoya strikers. There is nothing to do if the laws allow a penalty every 30 minutes against the Mantengwane goalkeeper. There would be no need to cry if Dynamos did not have to play to win matches. This is the system and the league in which the club is registered.

All the boys can do, is pray for justice and God is neither stupid nor blind. Bosso shall rise. God bless Bosso.