Dynamos coach Chihoro found guilty in juju incident
Dynamos and their team welfare manager Richard Chihoro are set to be fined by the Premier Soccer League after they were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute for the controversial half-time ‘juju exorcism’ incident during their season-opener against Hwange at Barbourfields in March.
The judgment was delivered to the DeMbare office yesterday, exactly four weeks after the disciplinary committee had heard the matter.
Both Dynamos and the Premier Soccer League were not prepared to comment on the developments yesterday but sources close to the goings-on confirmed DeMbare had received the verdict.
“The PSL disciplinary committee found the club guilty of all charges and imposed a fine,” said a source.
Chihoro has been frozen out of football for the past six weeks, following his suspension on March 22 to pave the way for summons, and there was growing anxiety in the DeMbare family over the delays in bringing the matter to finalization.
DeMbare’s longest-serving member of the technical team missed five league games and the Independence Cup final against Highlanders played in Mt Darwin.
Some in the DeMbare family felt his continued suspension was not only disadvantageous to the team but also an infringement of the PSL rules and regulations.
“Chihoro was suspended almost two months ago and was summoned for a hearing on April 5. Ideally, judgment should have been released three days after the hearing but the PSL was just silent.
“Dynamos wrote to them on March 21 and again on March 26 and there was no answer. The team felt disadvantaged because as welfare manager he plays a key role in making sure the well-being of the players is well-taken care of, as well as linking the team with the management.
“That gap is not sustainable for a long period within the establishment. So far he has missed a considerable fraction of the season and we are not sure whether the suspension will be lifted now that the judgment is out,” said a source.
DeMbare has queried the suspension of Chihoro by the PSL secretariat from the onset, arguing it was the duty of the judicial bodies of football.
The club, however, had to let Chihoro step aside until the finalization of the disciplinary processes, out of respect for the rules and regulations.
Chihoro landed himself in hot soup during the first game of the season against Hwange after he was caught on camera running onto the pitch and sprinkling an unknown liquid at the Mpilo End goal that Dynamos were to attack in the second half.
This was after his team had encountered frustrations in the opening 45 minutes when they created numerous scoring opportunities at the Soweto End and did almost everything in their power to break the deadlock, but the goal remained elusive.
With the frustrations boiling up, DeMbare was convinced there was juju on Hwange’s goal, and the belief was fuelled by the hosts’ goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya, who kept a big white towel spread behind his goal, which he also appeared to invoke prayers on.
This did not go down well with Dynamos and their superstitious fans, who were increasingly getting agitated every passing minute of the game. Chihoro, not new to the juju controversies, was seen sprinkling some white stuff at the goal in an alleged act of unlocking the “juju” at the Hwange goal.
The Premier Soccer League was not amused by the act of misconduct and laid charges against the DeMbare team manager. Chihoro was then suspended from taking part in all PSL-sanctioned matches a few days later. The DeMbare team manager had his license provisionally withdrawn and was also been asked to surrender his PSL accreditation card until the matter was finalized.
He was not allowed anywhere near the team bus, changing rooms, or sitting in the technical area during PSL matches.
Friday: Simba Bhora v Cranborne Bullets (NSS)
Saturday: GreenFuel v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo), FC Platinum v Manica Diamonds (Mandava), Chicken Inn v Herentals (Luveve), Yadah v CAPS Utd (NSS)
Sunday: Dynamos v Triangle (NSS), Sheasham v Highlanders (Bata), Hwange v Bulawayo Chiefs (Colliery)
Wednesday: Black Rhinos v Ngezi Platinum Stars (NSS)
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