Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
TWO security services netball sides, Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Correctional Services have been docked three points each and fined a combined total of $1 700 for causing the abandonment of their Rainbow Amateur netball league match in August this year.
Of the total fine, $300 handed to ZDF was effective while the other $1 000 was suspended as well as the $400 fine imposed on Correctional Services, who until the disciplinary committee’s verdict, had not lost any league match since the formation of the league last year and are still on course to retaining their title.
According to the disciplinary committee, the two teams’ match on August 31 couldn’t take off after Correctional Services Queens walked away in protest following ZDF’s intended use of two players Sharon Bwanali and Rudo Karume.
“The Disciplinary Committee of the league has extensively interrogated the circumstances surrounding the aforementioned without fear or favour and will point out such anomalies may they be from the executive or otherwise.
This is done in the interest of justice and to foster professionalism within the league and ultimately the overall improvement of the league.
It is common cause that the impasse came about due to a number of errors committed in part consciously or otherwise by teams, the executive as well as the assembly.
It is therefore of paramount importance that all parties involved in this matter soberly attend to this matter for the common good of the league and the competition. Members should bear in mind also that this very league is a new format, and as such it still lacks key structures and toolkits that will make it run smoothly, an attempt should be made to attend to issues with a vision of correcting and developing, so patience and restraint will help,” reads part of the judgment chaired by Peter Ncube with Precious Mudenge as its secretary general.
The match was originally pencilled for July 20, which is the first half of the season but was postponed at the request of ZDF Queens and after the postponement, ZDF Queens recruited the two players.
“The clubs’ assembly convened and together with the executive, unanimously agreed to define player movements (including free agents), and exactly when these players will be allowed to play (second half season games). In the scheduled fixture ZDF Queens paraded their recruits, and based on assembly resolution, Correctional Queens refused to play the game hence the impasse,” reads contend the disciplinary committee.
It is the disciplinary committee’s contention also that Correctional Queens, after and with advice from league management had many options, including playing under protest, but opted to walk off and subsequently take the law into their own hands thereby violating section 18.104.22.168 of the League.
“The Disciplinary Committee takes note of the effort by Correctional Queens of following the Ranl Statutes by allowing the assembly resolution to stand and wanting to follow the statutes of not assist another in committing an offence. However, in attempting to follow statutes Correctional Queens did not follow the proper match grievances statutes (Article 19: Protests). Neither did they follow advice from match officials as directed by section 20.1.9 of the Code of Conduct, nor lodge their grievances in writing and play as propounded by the Code of Conduct. Instead the act of taking law into their own hands and walking off court meant that they did not fulfil the fixture as they were expected to play (and) in walking away they ultimately had a hand in the abandonment of the game,” wrote the committee.
Meanwhile, the two “culprits” face off this afternoon in the reverse fixture in what is expected to be a blood and thunder encounter at Chikurubi.
Other fixtures will see Falcon taking on Glow Petroleum at Manyame, Hwange’s Lusumbami play host to PPU and ZRP Mambas at Lwendulu Grounds. ZDF has a date against Tenax.