Harare — ZIFA chairman Wellington Nyatanga has added his voice to the chorus of condemnation of the mayhem that rocked Gwanzura after CAPS United's match against Mwana Africa last Sunday.
CAPS United fans held coach Moses "Bambo" Chunga and his players hostage after they tumbled to their 10th draw against Mwana Africa, a result that further derailed their championship march.
The CAPS United fans believe Chunga has dragged their team into the ordinary and demanded his resignation with their violent reaction needing police intervention to restore order.
Nyatanga said yesterday that his association had been partly to blame for failing to act decisively on the violence that continues to dog the domestic game.
The Zifa chairman issued a strong warning that they would deal with hooligans severely threatening to ban those who will be caught on the wrong side of the law.
"As an association we don't condone violence of any nature and we would like to express our deep regret at the events that took place at Gwanzura on Sunday.
"We are saddened by the hooliganism that continues to disturb our football which has resulted in innocent fans, players and our coaches' lives being put in danger.
"We won't allow a situation where supporters hold players and coaches hostage and risking their lives like what happened to the CAPS United players and coach.
"The code of ethics of the game is that teams either win, draw or lose and it's high time we made the supporters understand that.
"But I would like to warn the hooligans that any more such behaviour, we would severely deal with anyone who would be caught perpetrating violence.
"If our cameras were to pick out some of these hooligans we would ban these people for life, it's high time we sent a clear message to them.
"There is no war in football neither does football know politics, it's supposed to be a family game where everyone should enjoy. We appeal to the fans not to personalise issues like they did on Sunday.
"The coach was subjected to abuse by the hooligans but they have to understand that he was only doing his job and it's always going to happen that sometimes results are not favourable," Nyatanga said.
But football has seen so much of violence engulfing our matches with threats of banning the hooligans for life virtually becoming empty as soon as the emotions die down.
There hasn't been stern action targeted directly at individual hooligans and those that have been caught have simply paid fines at police stations and return to matches.
Nyatanga admitted that his association had not done much to stamp out hooliganism and would with immediate effect step up their fight against the rogue elements in the sport.
"It's true that there has been a lapse on our part but I would want to assure the nation that this time around we are very serious and we will deal with the culprits severely.
"We would also like the clubs the identify their true supporters and fish out the hooligans and we encourage them to have enough marshals like what they did at Highlanders the time they had problems with hooligans.
"But this is not supposed to be an isolated operation, they should be maximum co-operation from everyone, the clubs, the police and the fans themselves."
Nyatanga said there had also been a huge problem of vulgar and hate language at the matches.
"The issue of vulgar songs has been bothering us for a while. That is why we would like to see clubs employing marshals so that we can effectively deal with these problems," said Nyatanga.