Gore calls for fair play, slams hooliganism

By Archford Chirimudombo


MARONDERA- FC Hunters benefactor Andrew Gore has called for professional conduct
from match officials to avoid disturbances at the end of matches as that is the only way
football in Zimbabwe can develop.
His comments come in the wake of disturbances that marred an otherwise electrifying match
in which his team was held to a one-all draw by Rusitu Tigers in an Eastern Region Division
1 soccer league match played at Rudhaka Stadium last week.
During the match, FC Hunters took a second half lead following an impressive team move
but the visiting side from Manicaland province’s Chimanimani district levelled matters after
they were awarded a dubious penalty towards the end of the game.
This did not go down well with the home side’s bench and thousands of supporters who
rallied behind their team in its debut match at Rudhaka Stadium which underwent extensive
At the end of the match, fans who felt robbed invaded the pitch intending to assault the
referee but he was saved by Gore. He rushed from his seat in the grand stand to calm the
situation and had a torrid time to contain the fans’ anger while providing refuge for the
referee in his vehicle.
Gore said: “This is a bad advertisement of the game. These disturbances were caused by the
referee and the questionable penalty that he awarded our opponents triggered all this. It is my
feeling that those responsible for selecting match officials in the regional league should
appoint referees who conduct themselves in a professional manner.
“As FC Hunters, we are sorry for what happened at Rudhaka Stadium and I feel that the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) should provide us with at least 10 officers to maintain
order when we play at Rudhaka Stadium considering the high number of fans who are
coming to our matches. If there were adequate officers, the sad scenario might have been
avoided,” Gore said.
He also dissuaded fans from violent conduct before, during and even after matches regardless
of the result.

“I empathise with our fans because it is bitter to swallow defeat, more-so at your home turf.
However, I would like to urge them to shun engaging in violent conduct. At the end of the
day, it puts our brand in bad light. We only want them to come in their numbers and enjoy the
game and leave the rest to responsible authorities,” he said.
In the meantime, Gore hailed the overwhelming support that his team received from fans in
their first competitive Division 1 match at the province’s ceremonial home of football which
has hosted a number of Premier Soccer League and regional league matches in the past.
According to the FC Hunters owner, the support, if continued, will motivate his players in
their quest to grind positive results.
“The support that we received from the fans made me realise that we are not alone in this
project. Such support motivates our players and the technical staff as we keep on fighting to
be among the best teams in the league,” Gore said.
In years gone by, teams from Masvingo and Manicaland provinces have been taking turns to
be promoted into the country’s top-flight league at the expense of teams from Mashonaland
Names of such teams that easily come to mind are Masvingo United, Triangle, Eastern Lions,
Highway, Hippo Valley, Tenax Correctional Services, Buffaloes, Manica Diamonds and
Mutare City Rovers, only to mention but a few.
However, Gore is confident that his team will find its feet and start posting positive results as
the season progresses.
“Remember, this is our first season in the league and we are learning the ropes, at times the
hard way. We are here to stay in the league until we earn promotion into the Premier Soccer
League. I am confident that the team that we have has what it takes to take us far,” Gore
The affable farmer is on record vowing to play his part in the development of the game in the
province, with the ultimate goal being bringing top-flight league football to the provincial
capital of Mashonaland East.
The last time football fans from this part of the world watched premiership football at
Rudhaka Stadium was more than 10 years ago when the stadium used to host the now defunct
Stan Kudenga’s Eagle’s and the late Douglas Tanyanyiwa’s Douglas Warriors.
FC Hunters was formed in 2019 and earned the automatic ticket to rumble in the Eastern
Region Division 1 league last season.

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