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CHEGUTU Pirates have been barred from using Pfupajena, their home ground, for three matches as punishment for the violence that rocked their World Navi Northern Region Division One league match against leaders Mushowani Stars.

The Pirates have been ordered to play their next three home matches on the neutral fields of Rimuka in Kadoma.

Northern Region chairman0 Willard Manyengavana told The Herald that his board initially imposed a five-match ban on Pirates, from using their home ground, but reduced the suspension to three games after the Chegutu side pleaded for mercy and promised to stamp out hooliganism from their ranks.

“The league is concerned about events that have been happening at Pfupajena and decided to act to protect the integrity of the game and our partners,” Manyengavana said.

“We had imposed a five-match home ban on Chegutu Pirates but the team’s leadership pleaded with us that we reduce the ban for three games and promised to sort out the issues that have forced us to act.

“We gave them the benefit of doubt and they will play their next three home matches at Rimuka in Kadoma but we have warned them that if trouble erupts again at Pfupajena, when they return to their base, then we will be forced to order them to play in an empty stadium.

“This should be a warning to the other teams that we won’t tolerate lawlessness and they have a responsibility to ensure that their supporters don’t take matters into their hands and rain missiles onto the pitch, attack match officials and attack opponents.”

Pirates have a history of violent fans and Mushowani stars coach Paul “Popopo”Chimalizeni blasted the supporters, in the wake of the attack on his team, saying their behaviour at Pfupajena two weeks ago was only expected from animals.

The home team’s fans threw missiles onto the pitch, in response to decision by the referee to give the Stars a very late penalty, and assistant referee was struck in the ensuing commotion.

“Their supporters behaved like animals. After the game they started throwing missiles at us and we spent an hour standing in the middle of the pitch,” said Chimalizeni.

“We had to be escorted by the police. When we got there around 1pm they refused us entry into the stadium saying they wanted to get in first. They wanted to frustrate us but we didn’t get frustrated, we know the game is now about mind games.”

In February this year, the administrators of the Monomotapa United Facebook page, said Pirates had the most violent fans in this part of the world. “The team’s is said to be the most violent this side of the equator. All 16 old teams from 2013 spoke with one voice in naming and shaming Chegutu Pirates as they narrated harrowing experiences at Pfupajena Stadium.

“Chegutu Pirates is owned by the community and there is an arrangement where a certain amount is deducted from residents’ rates payment by the City Council going to the club. “In return the residents are allowed to watch the team for ‘free.’

“Indeed the residents come in thousands to watch their team as they say ‘tauya kumari yedu.’ Problems start when Chegutu Pirates lose. Kwanzi visiting team and supporters vanorohwa kunge nyoka. Well that sounds like Stone Age isn’t it? But it’s happening at Pfupajena.”

Source : The Herald