AT the National Sports Stadium this afternoon, is one of the biggest matches in African football and one of the biggest fixtures in Zimbabwean football featuring traditional giants Caps United and Dynamos, in what is known as the Harare Derby.
By MICHAEL KARIATI
Games between the two sides are classified among the biggest rivalries in African football, and ranked alongside those between Al Ahly and Zamalek in Egypt, Go Mahia and AFC Leopards in Kenya, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in South Africa, Wydad Casablanca and Raja Casablanca in Morocco, as well as Young Africans and Simba in Tanzania.
Not to mention the one in Tunisia featuring Esperance and Club Africain, SC Villa and Express in Uganda, and the one pitting Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko in Ghana.
Such matches always attract a lot of attention not only in the country they are being played in or in Africa, but the world over, and as such, any incident of note always draws a lot of negative perception from the international community.
So when the Green Machine and DeMbare troop onto the National Sports Stadium this afternoon for the first of the Harare derbies, both the players and their hordes of followers should know that any act of misconduct on their part would be the talk of the international world.
Only six matches gone and less than two months into the new Premiership season, the Dynamos supporters are already in the headlines for all the wrong reasons following the violence that characterised their one-all draw against Yadah.
That is not good for a club that should be concentrating their efforts on reviving a team that is slowly sinking or that has sunk to be among the weakest teams in Zimbabwean football.
On the field of play, both Caps United and Dynamos are not at their best at the moment with the worse so far being DeMbare, who have picked up only three points from six matches. The 1998 Caf Champions League finalists are 13 points behind leaders FC Platinum and look like losing the grip on the Castle Lager Premiership title they last won in 2014.
There is no guarantee that Dynamos will win against Caps United and should they lose in their seventh outing, their fans should just accept the fact that their team is not playing well.
Even if they have their own reasons as to who is to blame for their drastic fall, the Harare derby venue is not the right platform to vent their anger, but should find other ways of resolving their team’s crisis when back at home.
Even if the green half of Harare ends up the losers against a team that is so far one of the worst in the Premiership, Caps United should just understand that football is about winning, losing or playing to a draw.
Zimbabwe needs a clean football environment and that should start with the biggest football teams in the country. After all, sport is like a musical show. It is all about entertainment and football provides that entertainment value. The most important thing is the satisfaction of having been entertained by the two teams on the field of play.
The referees too should not be pressurised and should try as much as they can to be impartial. There are certain football fans who tend to blame others even when it is evident that their team is not playing well, and the match officials could find themselves being the victims.
One bad decision could provoke emotions and anger and ultimately spark an incident.
So, let the better team win cleanly and fairly.
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