By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Highlanders members on Sunday unanimously implored the club leadership to pursue legal action against pitch invaders and missile throwers during the team’s matches.The members said some of the hooligans are well known and had been invading the pitch willy-nilly yet the club suffered financial losses due to fines and deduction of points.
Mgcini Mafu, a member, said the club must and should individually sue those people that would have been arrested by the police for missile throwing and pitch invasion.
“Some of these people are known and are captured on camera, but the club does nothing to these people, so I propose that the club takes such thugs to the civil court because we can’t continue to suffer as a result of them,” said Mafu.
His proposal was resoundingly endorsed by other members.Highlanders’ acting chairman Modern Ngwenya said the scourge of hooliganism, pitch invasion and missile throwing continued to cost the club heavily in fines and damage to its image.
“May I appeal to members to support efforts that are made to stop this behaviour. The amount that we have paid over the years and the year under review cannot be allowed to continue,” said Ngwenya.
“The fines and bad publicity are serious matters which militate against the club’s attempts to achieve brand growth and equity. It may be time that members consider making resolutions that will allow for legal action, including claims from those who would have been arrested and charged for acts of hooliganism at our games.
“May I emphasise that a single missile that is thrown onto the pitch attracts an immediate fine of $2 000 without the club being called for a hearing. We cannot afford to continue on this trajectory.
“While we all feel pain of referees’ calls when they seem biased against our club, it must be emphasised and unequivocally stated that the decisions of referees are final and no amount of missiles can change the principle. Fans must understand that the cost of this behaviour impacts the club’s ability to generate revenue and leads to failure to meet obligations to players, ultimately leading to unrest and strikes,” Ngwenya said.
He reminded members that no amount of missile throwing will make referees change their decisions and appealed to members to allow the club leadership to pursue laid down football complaints channels instead of resorting to violence.
“Where there are cases of injustice, the club’s administration should be allowed to pursue laid down football complaints channels without being compromised by acts of hooliganism which would have been acted out in response to incidents in question,” he said. The Chronicle