The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has once again suspended matches this weekend due to volatile post-election reactions currently gripping Zimbabwe.
Following disturbances that rocked Harare on Wednesday and left six people injured in the aftermath of Monday’s presidential vote, the PSL fears violence could spill into football stadiums.
Fans will once again have to wait a week longer for the return of the country’s biggest football match, as Highlanders were set to host arch-rivals Dynamos this weekend after the match had been postponed last week.
As recent as last season, the 'Battle of Zimbabwe' was abandoned at Barbourfields Stadium, the home of Highlanders, due to crowd trouble.
Now, with a polarised political situation in Zimbabwe, Sunday’s showdown between the two giants was viewed as a potential political battleground due to the clubs’ historical backgrounds embedded in political movements.
The usually tension-filled matches between Highlanders and Dynamos would have been a high risk, especially at Barbourfields where several skirmishes have been witnessed between the two sides.
Subsequently, the PSL has once again tried to separate football from the prevailing political situation.
“The Premier Soccer League in consultation with its key stakeholders has postponed the Castle Lager PSL Matchday 21 fixtures scheduled for the weekend of 4 to 5 August 2018. We will advise on the rescheduled dates in due course,” said the PSL in a statement.
That both Highlanders and Dynamos’ chances of winning the league title are now slim does not take away the hostility between the two sides as supremacy over each other is what matters most.
Highlanders won 1-0 away in Harare in the reverse fixture between the two giants in April, setting up a potentially stormy return leg.
But Dynamos’ revenge intentions have been boosted by the arrival of former Kaizer Chiefs striker Kingston Nkhatha and Brett Amidu.
Sitting just three points above the relegation zone, a much unfamiliar position for them, Dynamos have a lot to play for against Highlanders, who are fourth on the log table.