“We are playing against the system” – Highlanders coach accuses football authorities of bias

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HIGHLANDERS coach Baltemar Brito has expressed his disappointment at football authorities following his team’s second successive goalless draw when they hosted Simba Bhora on Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium.

By Bhora Afrika

Brito’s side has collected two points from a possible six after being held by newly promoted sides, Sheasham and Simba Bhora.

The Brazilian born Portuguese said Highlanders is ‘playing against the [football] system’, highlighting a series of issues including the postponement of the match day 5 fixture between Highlanders and Dynamos back in April, as evidence that someone is working against the club.

“We are playing against the system. First of all we had the Dynamos game cancelled.

“Secondly, Sheasham we played now they ban the stadium.

“Thirdly, the referee, no offside, no extra time, no penalty,” Brito complained during the post match briefing after the Simba Bhora game at Barbourfields on 14 May.

Back in April, Brito accused the Premier Soccer League (PSL) of postponing the fixture to protect Dynamos, which in his view, was struggling.

Brito is convinced that there are people who do not like Highlanders within the football leadership hierarchy, but insisted that his team will fight through its challenges.

“If they don’t like Highlanders they should say. We will try to do our best because we are the warriors, and the warriors always fight to the last minute,” he added.

Highlanders’ matchday 5 fixture with Dynamos set for 15 April was shelved only three days before the set date to allow both teams to participate in the 2023 invitational Independence Cup match in Mt Darwin.

Highlanders is the only team to play at the approved but now banned Bata ground in Gweru following a public outcry over the state of the facility.

Even though the clay ‘terraces’ were the most concerning, anonymous Highlanders players were cited in the media complaining about the condition of the pitch itself.

In Highlanders’ latest goalless draw, Brito felt that some of the decisions made by the match officials were unfair to his team.

Refereeing issues in Zimbabwe?

Assistant referee Edgar Rumeck suffered a deep cut on his arm after being struck by a bottle after the Herentals/Dynamos game on 13 May.

Norman Mapeza had to go onto the pitch to restrain his players from confronting the referee when the Champions played Ngezi Platinum Stars on 14 May.

Only two weeks back, Mapeza had to do it again when FC Platinum lost 0-1 to Herentals.

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