THE Premier League season is six weeks old and already ugly scenes of violence have been witnessed outside the stadiums especially in matches involving Dynamos and Caps United.
In the first match between Caps United and Hwange, soccer fans fought running battles with the police as they protested against high gate charges which were pegged at US$2 for the cheapest ticket. The cheapest ticket approved by the PSL management committee was US$1.
In DeMbare’s first home match, there was pandemonium when thousands of DeMbare fans failed to make their entry on time due to the club’s decision to open fewer gates. The trouble outside the stadium affected the proceedings on the pitch and the watch was temporarily stopped as teargas engulfed part of the pitch.
Â In the clashes property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed and scores of supporters were left injured. Violence has become a permanent feature almost every season and it is more worrying when the violence is a product of poor organisation and lack of professionalism.
In a game between Dynamos and Rhinos they used a new ticketing system they have never used before and it caused unnecessary delays as the fans and cashiers are still to familiarise with this new system.
One would have expected the PSL management committee to test this system during the off season to see the merits and demerits of the system.
The Caps United and Hwange fiasco was a result of bungling by the PSL because they gave Caps the green light to hike charges although they pegged the cheapest ticket at US$1. What was even more frustrating for fans in this game is the failure by the club to notify the public about the hiking of charges.
The clubs must take into account that fans are finding it difficult to obtain this forex as most soccer fans are poor. As if that was not enough the charges where hiked even more when Dynamos were hosted by Caps United and a rest of the ground ticket was going for US$3. What is disturbing about the two incidents is that the leadership is to blame. Surely we cannot have to blame the corporate world from not sponsoring domestic soccer if this continues.
Soccer fans should not be made to pay for whatever costs are incurred by the club, as it is the duty for clubs officials to look for funds elsewhere and not from supporters. In other clubs in the world the money generated at home games is used to cater for the expenses of travelling fans when they are away.
The problem with our football is that some people think by owning a football club one can make money by selling players abroad and generate revenue from paying soccer fans.
The PSL clubs and management committee should iron out the pricing issue as it has got the potential of causing violence at stadiums as fans will be resist paying that much money.