Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are unimpressed by the standard of refereeing in the local game and have lodged official complaints with the league’s bosses.
There are growing allegations that some referees, match commissioners and members of the Zifa referees committee are conniving to manipulate results.
Sources said what further irks clubs is that some match commissioners and referees ignore certain incidents in their reports, protecting each other at the expense of the clubs.
With just 11 rounds of Premiership games left before the curtain comes down on the league, the PSL yesterday confirmed that a number of clubs have lodged written protests which they have forwarded to Zifa.
Kudzai Bare, PSL spokesperson confirmed receipt of the letters but could not be drawn into revealing the clubs that have complained.
“Some clubs have registered official complaints on match officiating and as the league we’re forwarding these to Zifa who are in charge of referees.
It has always been the case that when a complaint comes from clubs in regards to refereeing, it is taken to Zifa.
The complaints that the clubs who I can’t state raised, came after Matchday 23,” said Bare.
At least four clubs have questioned the way the officials handled their games as they felt that the referees could have done better.
Relegation threatened Bulawayo City felt robbed by Hwange-based referee Hardly Ndazi’s decision to award Herentals a last minute penalty that led to their 1-0 defeat at Barbourfields Stadium.
With the match seemingly headed for a draw, Ndazi, not new to controversy, decided that the coming together of City defender Wilfred Munorwei and Herentals’ substitute Prince Chama constituted an impediment on the Students’ player.
Brighton Majarira converted the spot kick to condemn City to a second consecutive loss after they went down by a similar margin against Highlanders at the same venue.
In Gweru, the match between Whawha and Caps United had a 10-minute stoppage as the former protested against referee Lawrence Zimondi’s decision to deny them what they felt was a genuine goal.
Zimondi reportedly had a bad day in the office and overruled assistant referee Piason Zvekuonera’s signal for Raymond Horonga’s strike that hit the under-side of the crossbar and appeared to have crossed the line on the bounce before being cleared back into play.
At Baobab Stadium, there was a 13-minute stoppage as Triangle United protested Ngezi Platinum Stars’ 79th minute opening goal, scored by Ariel Makopa, which the Lowveld side argued didn’t cross the line.
The visitors, who lost the game 2-0, thought defender Tinashe Kabanda had done well to clear the ball, but assistant referee Polite Dube signalled for a goal with referee Thembinkosi Sibanda pointing to the centre to spark chaos from Triangle.
Their players mobbed the referees, prompting police details to enter the pitch to provide protection.
The PSL has charged Triangle United coach Jairos Tapera for inappropriate behaviour during the match.
“We remind clubs to adhere to the PSL Rules and Regulations.
According to the Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations, it is an act of misconduct on the part of a club where: 31.1.21 It, inclusive of its officials, players, servants or duly authorised (express or implied) representatives or supporters commits any act or makes any statement, either orally or in writing, or has been responsible for conduct which is considered ungentlemanly, insulting or improper behaviour, or likely to bring the game, sponsors, any member, the League, ZIFA, CAF or FIFA into disrepute,” said the PSL.
At the National Sports Stadium, Bulawayo Chiefs coach Nilton Terroso gave a 15-second post-match interview, as he appeared to be upset with the officiating.
Gweru-based referee Busani Siwawa turned down a Chiefs penalty shout after Arthur Musiyiwa appeared to have been fouled inside the box.
Siwawa is the same referee who handled the Ngezi home match against Dynamos which ended 0-0 as well as the 1-1 draw between Chicken Inn and Highlanders.
In both games, coaches expressed disappointments on how he handled the encounters. — @ZililoR