PSL calls crisis meeting after putting league matches on pause

HARARE – The Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Monday called for an urgent meeting with all the 16 teams and police after indefinitely suspending the league citing growing hooliganism at matches.

League sponsors Delta Beverages have reportedly told PSL chiefs to end football violence, warning that it is soiling their brand name.

The decision to suspend the league follows Sunday’s abandoned match between Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

Highlanders scored two minutes into added time but Dynamos players surrounded the referee and prevented the match from resuming as their fans also damaged nets at one end following a pitch invasion.

Highlanders also had another match cancelled in Zvishavane on April 24 when their supporters clashed with police following a late penalty awarded to FC Platinum when the teams were level 1-1.

PSL secretary Kennedy Ndebele said in a statement: “The Premier Soccer League has suspended all Castle Lager PSL matches with immediate effect until further notice following incidents of violence and hooliganism that continue to take place in our football.

“The PSL strongly condemns such acts as they can only serve to tarnish the beautiful game of football. We are currently engaging all key stakeholders to find lasting solutions to these challenges.”

The PSL has asked Highlanders, Dynamos and the police to submit reports on what transpired at Barbourfields. Both clubs face sanction.

Further, Ndebele said a meeting with all the clubs and law enforcement will be held on May 20 to find ways of tackling match day violence.

Here comes trouble … Dynamos fans invading the pitch to confront match officials

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) acting CEO Xolisani Gwesela, in a statement, said it was “imperative to identify the roots of the hooliganism so that we find a lasting solution.”

“The abandonment of matches is not the best picture of our football that we want the world to see,” said Gwesela.

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