Bongani Ndlovu, Sport Correspondent
BEWARE Highlanders! The national football governing body, Zifa is gunning for your players since your gallant draw against Zifa’s favourites, Dynamos.
According to Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa’s interview with a local daily, the national association is gunning for Bosso players for “provoking” DeMbare’s Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa Ntouba
So incensed with the result was Zifa president Chiyangwa that he decided during the match that the straight red card shown to on-fire Ntouba would not stand because the referee Arnold Ncube from Masvingo was “poor”.
Bosso had gone into Sunday’s game having lost four games in a row and DeMbare were expected to make mince meat of their eternal rivals.
Unfortunately Bosso were denied a genuine 52nd minute penalty that would have seen them shaking the form book to emerge with maximum points.
Strange that the Zifa president would personally involve himself in deciding the outcome of a match when he should at least try to be impartial.
Just where is our football headed?
Chiyangwa highly misconstrues his so-called flamboyancy into goodness and mercy for local football and if he’s not stopped, our game will sink deeper into oblivion.
First things first! Why is Chiyangwa chairing the referees’ committee in the first place when he knows nothing at all about match officiating?
It’s an anomaly on its own for the president of an association to chair a sub-committee and that it prevails at Zifa is testament to the poverty of governance at the national association.
The president of Zifa must be beyond reproach and not reduce himself to a diehard supporter’s level of unashamedly displaying his bias in a game he should never have involved himself in, in the first place.
We demand a referees’ committee comprising retired referees that understand and have experience of handling professional games.
This is a highly technical committee that a layman like Chiyangwa have no business in.
Dynamos have been playing good football lately and the overzealousness of Chiyangwa is dangerously making nonsense of the Glamour Boys’ performances.
Chiyangwa doesn’t seem to understand the basics of football tenets.
Even if the referees’ committee were properly constituted, it has no power to rescind referees’ decisions. That part ought to be left to an independent panel.
The committee simply reviews performances of referees and spearheads their development and can’t be allowed to operate as prosecutor, jury and judge.
Reviewing of match officials’ decisions can’t hold in Zimbabwe because not all matches are broadcast, recorded or watched by Chiyangwa. For example, Chiyangwa watched the Bosso and DeMbare game; what about the other two games that he did not watch or were not recorded or broadcast?
We are sure there were lots of controversies, probably worse than the Epoupa’s stupid retaliation.
Reversal of referees’ decisions should only be permitted where all matches are recorded or broadcast so that a review panel uses video evidence to come to a fair conclusion.
Without a broadcasting deal that involves at least the recording of all matches, no reversal of referees’ decisions should be allowed because it disadvantages other teams.
We thus back the PSL’s stance that Epoupa’s ban stands and dismiss Chiyangwa’s pronouncement on the issue as a mere supporter’s wish.
Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa chairs the PSL emergency committee and should know the rules better, unless he is trying to prove to us that he’s completely ignorant of the rules and regulations of the league.
The so-called DeMbare protest letter by all intents and purposes is just personal communication to Chiyangwa.
Chiyangwa should have directed a lost Dynamos to the PSL for recourse.
The man can display his bravado and it might prevail at the end of the day, but that will never make it right.
Zimbabwean football will continue to wallow in the muddy waters of confusion with the likes of Chiyangwa and his disciples in charge of the “beautiful game”.
It’s high time someone stood up to Chiyangwa and told him to please leave our football alone.
Chiyangwa must choose between running Zimbabwean football efficiently or ensure that Dynamos wins every match as he’s trying to do. It’s sad when a football association president threatens players of a football team.
Chiyangwa must leave Highlanders to solve its own problems and not seek to impose his blind solutions on uMantengwane.