Petros Kausiyo, Harare Bureau
ZIFA’S bid to have the Confederation of African Football review their Chan qualifier against Namibia appears to have hit a snag with the continental body remaining mum on the appeal, while arranging second round fixtures scheduled for this weekend.
The association officially appealed to Caf to revisit the game, particularly the penalty shoot-out incident in which Swaziland referee Thulani Sibandze made a monumental technical error that had a huge bearing in the outcome of the match.
Caf have since suspended Sibandze and his assistant Petros Mbingo over the incident.
Zifa had appealed to Caf with a prayer to have the result possibly rescinded and a replay ordered.
Zifa chief executive Joseph Mamutse, who sent the two-page appeal letter to Caf, said yesterday that they had been left literary “waiting for the rain’’ by the continental body.
“There has been nothing in terms of any response from Caf so at the moment that there is nothing we can do except wait. I don’t know where to start from until we hear from Caf,’’ Mamutse said.
While Mamutse and Zifa were left waiting, Caf went ahead to confirm the second round fixtures with Namibia who edged the Warriors 5-4 in that shoot out being pencilled in to meet Comoros Islands.
Comoros will host the first leg of that second round at the Stade de Moroni tomorrow with the Brave Warriors receiving the Indian Ocean islanders in the reverse fixture at Sam Nujoma Stadium on August 20.
It also emerged from Caf sources that the continental body would not act on the Zifa appeal, on a technicality.
The sources indicated that Caf had evoked a clause in the Laws of the Game in deciding to let Namibia advance while they dealt with Sibandze.
“Caf will just deal with the referees and match officials through their ways of handling such cases.’’
In terms of a clause in Law 5, the referee’s decision is final and cannot be changed even if he has erred in executing his on-field rulings.
Law 5, which specifically deals with the referee, states that: “The decision of the referee regarding the facts connected with play including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match are final. The decisions of the referee and other match officials must always be respected.
“It is a fundamental principle that match officials’ decisions must be always be respected (even when they are incorrect),’’ reads the Law.