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CAPS United Acquitted

Premier Soccer League’s disciplinary committee recently pronounced CAPS United Football Club not guilty of violence and hooliganism allegations which emanated from a match against Nichrut at Ascot Stadium last month.

By Sportbrief Reporter.

On the fateful day, Nichrut where comfortably leading 3-1 by the 71st minute before Makepekepe overturned the score line to their advantage 10 minutes later to make it 3-4 in favour of the visitors.

The fourth goal unsettled the Nichrut supporters and they resorted to violence before the match was temporarily stopped due to crowd trouble.

The case was brought before the League’s disciplinary committee and it was ruled that CAPS United were not guilty.

Accusations 

Charge 31.1.13

Its supporters misbehave in any manner whatsoever, inside or outside a ground, before, during or after a match, no matter on which ground the match is played. Without derogating from the generality of what constitutes misbehaviors on the part of supporters, the following are specifically declared to be acts of misbehavior:

31.1.13.3 Throwing or attempting to throw missiles, bottled and other objects whether potentially harmful or dangerous against anyone at the game;

31.1.13.5 Acts of violence or attempted acts of violence against anyone at the game. Failing to protect match officials against act.

JUDGMENT

The facts are that on Saturday 28 April 2018 at Ascot Stadium Gweru, violence broke out between Nichrut FC supporters and CAPS United FC supporters.

The Referee reported that during the warm up supporters from the southem eastem bay in red jerseys and presumably Nichrut FC supporters attacked few supporters who were wearing green and white jerseys and presumably Caps United supporters.

The police are said to have intervened and controlled these violent incidences before kickoff.

The Referee states that violence broke out in the 83rd minute when the Accused scored the 4th goal to take the lead and that Nichrut FC supporters, who occupied the south eastem bay invaded the northem bay occupied by the Accused supporters.

The Evidence was that the Accused supporters were attacked with empty bottles and stones.

The accused supporters responded by throwing back the missiles and items thrown at them.

The police only controlled the violence by throwing tear gas canisters on the southern eastem bay occupied by Nichrut FC supporters. The incident is said to have lasted 17 minutes following which play was resumed and the match was finished.

In its defense Caps United FC did not dispute the facts as summarized above but argued that they did not institute the violence and were merely acting in self-defense in response to the attacks by Nichrut supporters when the leading goal had been scored.

The witness did not dispute this and in fact confirmed that the Nichrut FC supporters had invaded the Caps United FC supporters’ bays when they had taken the lead.

ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE

As already mentioned, the facts of this case are generally common cause. Nichrut FC admitted that its supporters had been violent and attacked the Caps United FC supporters.

The referee also confirmed this in his report and his evidence. The accused in its defense also confirmed the sequences of events. It is therefore accepted that it was the Nichrut supporters that misbehaved and threw missiles at the Caps United supporters.

It is also further accepted that the manner of attack by the Nichrut supporters left the Caps United FC supporters with no option but to defend themselves.

Evidence led shows that the Caps United supporters simply threw back the missiles thrown by the Nichrut supporters.

Much was made about the fact that the Caps United FC supporters ought not to have “retaliated” and that they should have been passive during the attack. The evidence showed that the attack that led to the stoppage of the match for 17minutes was such that the police had to throw tear gas canisters to stop the assault.

Under the circumstances the Caps United FC reaction in our view was reasonable and unavoidable.

Taking into account the above, we are of the view that the charges against the Accused cannot be sustained by the evidence led.

PENALTY: CAPS UNITED FC are therefore found not guilty and acquitted. The costs of hearing are to be paid by the PSI,” read the verdict.

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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