In the advent of financial hardship in the game of football and life in general, every penny's value can never be over emphasised. The art of the begging bowl has been mastered by the unfortunate mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, who pose in street corners and traffic lights asking for 'Help' or 'Uncedo'.
More often than not, I found myself sympathetically supporting those 'causes'. I have since stopped that act, as I became more generous and more reasonable. One cannot continue to sponsor and promote such a life style.
Few weeks ago, Highlanders F.C played Dynamos F.C at Barbourfields Stadium. And not for the first time, nor the second, nor the third, nor the fourth, there was crowd violence and the match was abandoned.
The match against F.C Platinum saw violent scenes and teargassing of fans by police. This article will not discuss the merits and/or demerits of the police or match officials in both cases or any case for that matter.
One can be rest assured that whether Bosso plays Dynamos, Tsholotsho,Chapungu or whoever, the referee appointed by the powers that be, will come and do a job he is hired for; either to be neutral, to rob Bossolona or whatever.
It must be born in mind too, that the overzealous policemen will also be ever available with sponsored teargas canisters. With all due respect, on each match day, alcohol will be there and will be consumed, usually to excess.
By the way, even a neutral referee on a good day will mess up, not once. What happens after the messed up affair, needs to be taken into context. How can the referee fix his fracas? How much chance and time does he have? Will players and fans give him that chance? Even if he cannot, can players fix it by defending/attacking better? They must, they are paid for that.
In many of these occasions, the general view of the Bossolonians and the neutrals, is that 'we was robbed'. Fair and fine, if that be the case, how does ensuing actions assist the fans and the club? If any activities by the referee or the police are a bait, Mantengwane seem to be a good fish.
Take the Bosso/Dembare issue, the matter saw the Disciplinary Committee (DC) sit and found Highlanders guilty, meting out a USD4000 fine and match forfeiture at a 3-0 scoreline.
This is where I have issues, the USD4000 cash How far can this amount assist the club, and who is it going to assist? Probably a loan to Dynamos for the next match against Highlanders. 3-0 scoreline, can be recovered but how many seasons have goal differences and single points cost the team the titles? Another point for another day.
Soon after the abandonment that ill-fated match against Dynamos, fans embarked on a noble cause of action dubbed 'ASIFUNI BUMBULU'. Part of that campaign entailed each fan with 'black and white blood' in their veins to raise one USD in anticipation of the fine.
A certain amount has been raised already and will probably be (or has been) handed over to the club, maybe not all the USD4000. This must be commended in terms of the efficiency and commitment to pay over USD2000 in the said time.
Now, here is another issue. What do sponsors say if the brand they associate with gets dragged into mud at the swinging of the bait by the powers that be (football or political)? These sponsors know that sooner or later, Bosso will play Dembare and that the same referee (with a different mask) will be there. They know the same policemen will be there. It is a storm brewing. They ask themselves if the deal is worth it.
I have always wondered how much fines Bosso paid in 20 or 10 years. And there is no team with a better record. Then factor in the club's debt; how much in the red is the club? Sad.
If it takes such a short time to raise that much money, let it be done regularly (monthly, quarterly) and pay the debts of the clubs. If the Zimbabwe Football Association funds get low, I have no doubt who they bank on for at least USD2000: the Bosso fans. They call them 'hooligans' or 'hoolies'.
Could it be the reason why they make sure they appoint the referees to promote their cause, and penetrate the police force to respond to these matches? I am financially savvy to cease a money making opportunity. It is not rocket science.
This is not to mean that Bossolonians must accept nonsense and to be push overs, but never ignore one fact; when a good referee makes a decision, he always thinks it is correct. If turns out to be wrong, it can never be reversed unless he has time to do so. Does he have that time?
When the decisions go against Highlanders, there is a drunk fool who will scream, shout and even jump onto the pitch or fight. When that happens, a sponsored policeman with cheap teargas and a button stick (and a dog too) will enjoy the mayhem. He becomes relevant in the equation.
The USD1 or USD10 you worked hard for, will be used to pay ZIFA debts or to sponsor their lifestyles at the expense of your family or team. If you are a true Bosso fan, would you work for Dynamos or Highlanders? To me, paying the USD1 towards 'ASIFUNI BUMBULU' is sponsoring the system of oppression and indiscretion. Let us pay it now but know where it is going.
One must find ways to refuse discrimination and psychological abuse at matches besides the violence. So far, Harare can bank on Bosso 'fans' going on a rampage if they lose or concede against Dembare.
I am sure they have an annual budget of the fines paid by Highlanders. They bank on it 100%. It is their free sponsorship. Sponsors will flee this brand and maybe the fans should actually sponsor the Highlanders themselves instead. Any more companies coming on board become a bonus.
Be wise tsotsi, be streetwise. Vuka kleva. Bosso cannot be the masters of the art of a begging bowl sponsoring Dembare and ZIFA at the expense of its own glory.