Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZRP Bulawayo FC goalkeeper, Nkosilathi Mlalazi, has been slapped with a five-year ban for assaulting a match official resulting in the abandonment of a game.
Mlalazi assaulted referee Saidi Phiri during his team’s Southern Region Division One league match against Talen Vision last month at Ross Camp ground.
Mlalazi stormed the field from the terraces and struck Saidi on the back of his head after Vision scored a late goal through Dingani Maphosa.
The goalkeeper had earlier been red-carded in the 72nd minute for a crude lunge on Maphosa.
Mlalazi’s violent act was captured on video by Bulawayo-based freelance journalist, Thandazani Zimbwa.
In a ruling released by the Zifa disciplinary committee yesterday, Mlalazi will serve a five-year ban, with his club losing the game 1-0.
“The accused player and the accused club are found guilty as charged in default. The match is awarded to Talen Vision on a 1-0 score line.
“Football is not a game for hooligans. It is most deplorable that the accused club being a club from law enforcement agent can disregard rules of the game in the manner they did. It is necessary under the circumstances to send a clear message to the offenders and those who may be tempted to engage in such conduct that they will not be treated with kids’ gloves,” reads the judgment.
ZRP Bulawayo were slapped with a $2 000 fine, of which $1 000 was suspended for the whole season on condition they do not commit a similar offence.
The judgment means Talen Vision’s points’ tally move up to 21 from 14 games. They also climbed up the ladder from ninth to fourth place on the log.
Vision travel to Victoria Falls for a league game against Mosi Rovers this afternoon.
Tomorrow: ZRP Byo v NRZ Leopards (Ross Camp), Hwange v Casmyn (Colliery, 12PM), Moto Moto v Bosso 90 (Mpumalanga), ZPC Hwange v Tsholotsho (Hwange, 12PM), Mosi Rovers v Talen Vision (Chinotimba), CIWU v Makomo (Crescent, 12PM), Mainline v Indlovu Iyanyathela (Plumtree)
Sunday: Zim Leopards v Toronto (Luveve).