Eastern Region Soccer League side Grayham has vowed to exhaust all channels to reverse what they term unjust sentence from the league’s executive which saw them being fined US$8000 for causing the delay to the start of their match against Green Fuel last month.
Grayham director Gray Hama said they are being victimized for calling for leadership renewal within the Eastern Region Soccer League not about the events that happened at their home match against Green Fuel at Old Windsor Primary School in Ruwa on 28 August 2022.
“Before we go to the unconstitutional manner in which this judgement was arrived at, just look at the US$8000 fine, it’s just meant to push us out of football and we know the reasons why. It’s not just something to do with what happened at Ruwa before the match against Green Fuel,” said Hama.
“There have been calls among clubs on leadership renewal within the region and I’m perceived as the one leading that call and am now being targeted. Because when we were called to regional offices in Masvingo, we thought it was a hearing but found two executive members Wisdom Simba and Farai Rutsvara who said it was a fact finding mission. They even told our lawyer that it was not a hearing so he could not attend.
“But surprisingly the two executive members came up with a judgement against the dictates of the constitution and the statutes of the game. We don’t deny that our supporters erred but what we are against is the use of authority to settle personal scores. We demand justice in this matter, whereby football rules are followed not personal feelings. Proper disciplinary procedures were not followed in this matter and that’s what we are saying,” added Hama.
Grayham have been barred from fulfilling their fixtures before the payment of the US$8000 fine and have so far missed three matches. They have since appealed to the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) against the fine and suspension.
Hama said the punishment was not affecting him personally, but was affecting the players and the community.
“Look I can walk away from football anytime and still continue enjoying my life. After all in Zimbabwean football is about pumping out money not gaining anything. But I’m driven by the desire to uplift the community, the desire to give youngsters a platform to make careers out of football. Look across all regions how many teams failed to last the whole season because of lack of funding and we shouldn’t be at this stage suffocating those sacrificing their money towards the development of football for personal reasons.”
The US$8000 fine on Grayham is the highest fine imposed on any football club in Zimbabwe. Premier Soccer League clubs Dynamos and Highlanders whose fans caused abandonment of matches through hooliganism and violence earlier this year, received lesser penalties than Grayham after judgement by the PSL disciplinary committee.
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