THE CAPS United team bus was attacked by machete-wielding Nichrut hooligans two hours after the conclusion of a dramatic Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at Ascot on Saturday.
Makepekepe, 4-3 winners, had spent two hours holed up in the dressing room hoping that by the time they leave, tempers would have cooled down.
However, as they made their way out of Ascot, stones rained on their bus, mirrors were shattered and midfielder Joel Ngodzo sustained a cut on his cheek.
Denver Mukamba stuffed himself under his seat and became the butt of jokes during dinner.
So shaken were coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges that some of them were against putting up in Gweru for a night longer. Apparently the CAPS United lads had been warned by hooligans that trouble would follow Makepekepe to their team hotel.
However, club chief executive Cuthbert Chitima calmed the situation, revealing that he had been assured by the police that the team would be safe.
Eventually CAPS United put up in Gweru and left yesterday morning without drama but not before Chitima revealed his teams fears ahead of a trip to Zvishavane this weekend.
“The boys are shaken because for a good 15 minutes their lives were in danger as missiles rained on our team bus
“Tough action needs to be taken to deal with such malcontents some of whom have even threatened to ‘deal’ with us when we visit Shabanie this coming weekend.
“After the attack I reported the matter to the police and investigations are underway. We hope the culprits will be brought to book soon,” Chitima said.
The Nichrut- aligned hooligans, who are also alleged to have stoned cars belonging to Harare-bound CAPS United fans a few kilometres out of the CBD, have threatened to pounce on Makepekepe and other teams.
They are also said to have threatened to rear their ugly heads during Wednesday’s tie between Chapungu and Dynamos at Ascot.
However, police yesterday warned that they will be out in full force when DeMbare and their legion of fans arrive.
Saturday’s drama erupted shortly after Simba Nhivi had given Makepekepe an 82nd minute lead.
In a flash, rival supporters who had hitherto shared the western bay peacefully, turned on each other.
Stones flew from one end to the other while some dimwits drew knives, baying for blood.
Referee Artwell Mazire — who looked jittery all afternoon — was forced to halt the match after some fans entered the pitch fleeing the hell in stands.
When police fired teargas, the Nichrut fans ran out of the stadium and the Makepekepe faithful were dissuaded from pursuing them by coach Chitembwe and his assistant Fungai Tostao Kwashi.
The match ended before a virtually empty stadium. Unbeknown to many, livid Nichrut fans were lying in ambush outside the stadium, waiting to pounce on anything green, including the Makepekepe team bus.
Yet before the missiles rained it rained goals, seven of them.
Tatenda Hapadzai, Gerald Bhero and Shepherd Sithole scored for the home side but the visitors battled back bravely with a Nhivi hat-trick and a Bruce Gurura own goal giving Makepekepe the edge.