Highlanders vs Dynamos: All we want is a good game of football, nothing else

All roads lead to Babur Fields on Sunday, where the Highlanders host Dynamos for the elite game of the 15th round program of the Castle Lager Premier League.

By Lawrence Mangeni

The showdown has all the action in store as DeMbare will stand Emagumeni at the top of the league table as they look to end their 8-year wait for the club’s biggest prize in the country.

On the other hand, Bosu goes 9 consecutive matches unbeaten which included matches against CAPS United, Chicken Inn and FC Platinum.

They will hope to finish what their CEO has described as a “bad patch,” with their morale winning over their tougher competitors.

On the playing field, the game can be appetizing in many ways, but it is also likely to set a bad example for a local game due to the following factors:

Tribal conflicts manifested in football match

The match has gained an unfortunate reputation over the years. Before, during and after the match, Highlanders fans proudly display signs referring to their Dynamos counterparts as “amaShona” (The Shonas) rather than just calling them what they are – DeMbare fans.

Sadly, the same and vice versa, DeMbare fans refer to their Bosso counterparts as Mandebele (Ndebeles).

Such language not only stimulates the endless tribal strife in Zimbabwe, but also creates the impression that only the Shona support the Dynamos and only the Ndebele people love the highlanders.

Highlanders vs. Dynamos is not a fight between Ndebeles and Shonas, let that sink in.

We cannot remain stuck in this paradox forever.

Football Politicization

Another erroneous view, which must be urgently corrected for the sake of the beautiful game, is that the Battle of Zimbabwe is a political rather than a sporting event.

Indeed, we should consider discarding the title of “Battle of Zimbabwe”, because problems of the game’s politicization and battles for tribal supremacy emanate from it.

Unresolved issues from the past should not be noticeable in a football match.

The problem of crowd and violence

As has become the norm, violence is the order of the day when it comes to matches involving Dynamos and Highlanders.

Accusations of referee bias come from both camps, with DeMbare fans usually accusing their Bosso counterparts of resorting to violence when decisions don’t go their way.

However, Dynamos fans appear to be doing the same, as was the case during the Uhuru Cup final on April 18, when they threw plastic bottles onto the field of play in protest of the referee’s decision.

The police were often called in to deal with crowd problems during the Bosso-DeMbare games, which is very unfortunate.

Highlander players try to bully match officials

Bosso players have developed a tendency to try to bully match officials.

They do so on the grounds that if decisions don’t go their way, the public at Emagumeni will react.

Players publicly tell the referees, in some cases, that any mistake could lead to an invasion of the field by the fans.

Of course, players want to make decisions their way all the time, that’s part of football, but this level of intimidation is not good for the game nor appropriate for a big organization like the Highlanders.

Unwillingness to accept the referee’s decision

Whether the referee’s decision is against Dynamos or the Highlanders, it’s final!

We don’t want to see a situation where a football match ends prematurely because the players refused to accept the match official’s decision.

All we want is just a good game on Sunday.

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