Tuesday, August 19, 2014

VIOLENCE...the bits and pieces each of us can do..

The Bosso-Dembare match has come and gone. Of all the after effects of this epic clash, violence once again showed its ugly head and a few kilometres away from BF, a life in the name of Thembinkosi Hloli was lost. My take on violence is that it must not be looked at in isolation just as a Highlanders and Dynamos problem.
A holistic approach to it is needed. I have witnessed violence not only at BF, but also at Mucheke, Rimuka, Tsholotsho and at Fairbridge. What needs to be addressed is not the result of it or the source, rather we should look at what causes violence in football stadia.
For a start I believe the fines the clubs are paying for violent misconduct of supporters will not in any way deter hooligans from throwing missiles in future, simply because the hooligans are not directly affected. The $2000 fine will come from the clubs and not the guys who threw empty bottles, who 99% of the times, came in free of charge, thanks to the corruption at the turnstiles.

Here proposed are a few measures for the Castle Lager PSL to adopt:
1. The PSL must move in with speed and introduce a seasonal ticketing system that does not only guarantee you entry but also a specific seat in the stadium. Once you are caught throwing missiles, your ticket must be cancelled and your seat as well.

The other benefit here is that a random seating system will demystify the issue of supporters seating according to camps. I have seen Kaiser Chiefs supporters seated next to Orlando Pirates fans. Also an identified hooligan must face the law and be banned from football.

2. PSL and referees must act seriously on players who incite violence through (a) provokative goal celebration. (b) feigning of injuries. (c)) mobbing of match officials by technical team etc. This is how Europe and England particularly have tammed hooliganism. Provocation and insinuation are biggest sources of violence.

3. Monitoring of perfomance of match officials by the relevant committee.

4. Club Marshals must be well equipped through radio communication to aid the police to flush out and identify any possible troublemakers.

5. A proffesional police force that does not pride itself in teargas, but in good crowd control measures. Police should also not be supporters, at least for 90 minutes, not only face the crowd, but be within the crowds as well.

Historically, the use of teargas and antiriot dogs invokes bad memories in any society and as police can be sure to meet some missiles thrown back at them in frustration.

6. The stadia should be evacuation-friendly for players and fans. This will lessen the tendency to use teargas to disperse people as not everyone is a hooligan and as such must be protected.

7. TOLERANCE...worst case scenario, I should be my brother's keeper and ensure he is not a hooligan.

8. Supporter education by both clubs and PSL is necessary. Football is only a sport with 3 possible outcomes and such messages have to hit the fans through sms platforms, Tv and newspaper adverts. Police, team leaders, captains and supporters must be used in this drive.

9. Clubs must embrace supporters associations. One benefit of such groups is that they tend to do things as a group. This includes sitting in one bay together as a chapter. It becomes easy therefore for supporters to control and identify bad apples amongst themselves e.t.c. I belong to a Highlanders Facebook group that does not tolerate nonsense among its members. Errant members are either blocked or reprimanded.

These are but a few measures to help curb this ugly monster called violence in football. (By Victor November.)

The late Thembinator Hloli has since been laid to rest, with Bosso supporters through the said Facebook group assisting with cash, kind, a Vuvuzela for our deceased brother and a BIG Bosso flag with a farewell message specifically dedicated to him.The flag covered his coffin from his Sizinda home to his final resting place in Lower Gwelo.

The whole Highlanders FC team led by Ndumiso Gumede , Kelvin Kaindu, Mike Mathe and captain Innocent Mapuranga had descended upon Hloli family home to pay their last respects to my beloved fan. Gumede preached the gospel of oneness and peace.

Is this not supposed to be the beautiful game? Hoping to hear your opinions about what the world should do to curb football violence.