The expression of outrage by the Highlanders family comes after the Premier Soccer League ad hoc committee parted the Red Sea for Dynamos to reach the BancABC Sup8r Cup final was expected.
But up to now Tapela is still struggling to grasp the enormity that Dynamos were allowed to proceed to the final after refusing to fulfill a rematch of the abandoned BancABC Sup8r cup competition, ordered by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).
Tapela says he is no longer surprised by the kids’ glove and sometimes outright “buddie” treatment that Dynamos gets from the football authorities considering that it has been happening for years now.
“History is littered with cases where the football authorities decided to throw the rule book out of the window and show their support for Dynamos. The history of Dynamos coming out triumphant in controversial circumstances is well documented and listing it litany by litany can take all day.
“Two seasons ago Dynamos refused to play Hwange because they questioned the integrity of the match officials. The PSL instead of punishing Dynamos and giving the points to Hwange ordered a replay. Early this year Dynamos also refused to play Gunners and the story was the same, a replay was ordered,” Tapela said.
Tapela believes that the composition of the PSL is scandalous as it is made up of pro-Dynamos people who drag their feet and fail to stamp authority to appease Dembare at the expense of other clubs.
“I am not saying that Dynamos are instigating all the favours they get, they might just be innocent beneficiaries of a decayed and outrightly biased system. What I am saying is that it is clear that there are some people that are not ashamed to show where their allegiance lies.
“Never mind that the PSL is composed of representatives of all the 16 clubs because among those officials there are people who are Dynamos at heart. And if you think that my ranting is because I feel Highlanders were hard done you are not far from wrong. Many clubs have been shortchanged as a result of Dynamos,” he said.
Tapela’s sentiments are in tune with his chairman, Themba Ndlela, who believes that there is a conspiracy in the high echelons of football to push the Dynamos agenda.
“We do not think that Dynamos are being treated like some of us. If people are to take decisions based on regional grounds, yet we are all citizens of Zimbabwe then we are going nowhere as a country.
“All decisions have been going in their (Dynamos) favour and . . . they will be playing Gunners in a re-arranged game which on a normal day should have been given to Gunners but because it’s Dynamos the game has been rearranged.
“It’s now about the future of into yabantu (club). Dynamos wanted us banned from football and now they have been given the game, clearly this is no longer about football. It’s something else.”
That was the observation, more in sorrow than in anger, by Ndlela, it became clear that Dynamos were not going to be punished because they had not turned up for the replay against Highlanders, or because they had walked out for a good 30 minutes in their original ill-fated clash against Highlanders.
This appeasement had even shocked ZIFA who tried to stamp their authority by ordering a replay, a call Dynamos ignored.
ZIFA had expected Highlanders to be given the match after Dynamos had committed to fulfill the fixture only to change their minds at the 11th hour, but alas that was not the case.
In the eyes of Tapela the chances of the disciplinary committee punishing Dynamos were nil from the start. He believes that the illustrious past of the most successful club in Zimbabwe shows that it lacks the principle of fair play save that of pursuing its own glory at all costs.
“As far as Dynamos are concerned, the end justifies the means and the PSL has let this selfish attitude fester by applying a policy of appeasement. When Dynamos used Cuthbert Malajila in their matches without the authority of Chapungu the PSL did not intervene.
“When Dynamos stole Farai Vimisayi from Hwange and used him in their champions’ league matches, the PSL was not moved. When Dynamos registered other clubs’ players for the champions’ league without the consent of the aggrieved teams the PSL turned a deaf ear to the cries and complaints. As you can see it’s not a question of sour grapes.”
With the PSL thus determined to show clemency, it is hardly surprising that Dynamos should miss the chance to make a mockery of the laws they should be abiding by. Tapela believes that the PSL probably lets Dynamos get away with murder for fear of annoying the legion of fans of the history making club, it is hardly surprising that other clubs believe that Dynamos are only punished when their offence is not excusable.
“The issue here is not that Dynamos don’t get punished. It is that they are never made to pay as a matter of principle but because there has been a public outcry. Really, it’s despicable. They like to pretend that they are a club on a higher plane, with their cultural history, bag of pro-Dynamos officials in higher offices but their antics show that they lack professionalism. The arrogance they display is staggering,” Tapela said.
The PSL’s doctrine of appeasement has seen Dynamos become a law unto themselves. They are out of touch with the laws of modern football and the violations they have committed can fill a thousand pages.
Dynamos do not see as other clubs see that the journey to a professional league that Zimbabwe desperately craves for begins with them. Highlanders were also wrong but Dynamos were the first to hit BancABC, the sponsors of the Sup8r below the belt by walking out.
It is puzzling why Dynamos are allowed to run roughshod at a time when the league is crying out for sponsors. The kids’ glove treatment of Dynamos is a serious challenge to the idea of fair play and the concept of professionalism in our league.
The idea of a certain club being the privileged one belongs in the past and should stay there. It is heartening to see that ZIFA decided to treat Dynamos like any other club in the league. Their decision to order a replay was not only welcomed but applauded.
It’s just sad that the PSL failed to follow ZIFA’s lead.
The decision by ZIFA might not be landmark but it is an example that should be emulated by the PSL. It is good that the mother body has seen it fit to stop the rot.
We are not saying that Dynamos are evil but Edmund Burke’s most famous words ring true and can be used to implore the PSL to be less amateurish and more professional: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”