BeezSports International

Logged In: None

Login | Sign Up

Date: 21 March 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

Zimbabwe (Castle Lager) Premier Soccer League: 2013
:: Standings
Zimbabwe (Castle Lager) Premier Soccer League: 2012
:: Standings
Zimbabwe (Castle Lager) Premier Soccer League: 2011
:: Standings
Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League : 2010
:: Standings
Zimbabwe Bankers League: 2010
:: Standings

News Headlines

Zifa under fire for 'foreign is lekker' policy on refs

[Posted 09 Nov 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Victor Hlungwane correcting an error at Barbourfields, after wrongly a red instead of a yellow card

Zifa's flip-flopping on the issue of appointing referees to handle local Knockout Cup competitions and league matches due to unsubstantiated allegations of biased officiating has attracted stinging criticisms from the local referees association and from many neutrals in the sports fraternity in the country.

Zifa, apparently with the blessing of the local Premier Soccer League, decided to hire South African and Zambian referees to officiate during the semi-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup over the last weekend.

The South African referee Victor Hlungwane who handled the FC Platinum/Dynamos semi-final match, brought Zifa squarely under spotlight with some questionable error which to his credit, he quickly corrected.

After initially flashing a straight red on Daniel Veremu for a foul for a yellow card offence under the impression that he had booked the defender previously, Hlungwane rescinded the red card and issued a yellow instead.

Zifa critics have jumped onto the band wagon and argued that Zifa should know better that to err is human when handling soccer matches or any other sports tie.

It appears that Zifa acted impulsively after receiving complaints from Dynamos regarding what the Harare giants consider biased officiating bent on giving FC Platinum an edge in the tight PSL title race and decided to jump onto the fray and engaged foreign referees at the cost of Mbada Diamonds Cup sponsors.

That action alone was as good as passing judgement on the competence, integrity and trustworthiness of local referees. It was an action tantamount to finding all local referees guilty of impropriety without evidence and without following due process of the law. 

While Zifa may argue that they stepped in to try and protect the interests of sponsors, there is hardly any justification for jumping to action at the whims of one club, the biggest club in Zimbabwe for that matter, without having satisfied oneself of the veracity of the claims by Dynamos that referees were aiding FC Platinum's chances of winning the PSL title.

In any case, the decision to step in and deal with the complaints or allegations that match officials were favouring FC Platinum in the PSL title race due to questionable officiating, it appears, were better left to the PSL to handle, rather than Zifa.

What Zifa has only succeeded in doing is to turn the 'finger pointing' away from the referees to themselves. They will surely be accused of attempting to favour Dynamos in the championship race, an accusation which Zifa will find hard to defend given the amateurish approach they have adopted in trying to deal with the problem.

The referees are understandably unhappy with Zifa's questionable move and the stage appears set for an interesting clash of heads. Referees are particularly peeved off by implications of the Zifa action.

“As Zimbabweans in general and referees in particular, we are disappointed with the stance taken by ZIFA which appears to be a vote of no confidence.

“Let me say this, we don’t tolerate biased officiating and corruption. These allegations are serious. But ZIFA have tainted our image by labelling us incompetent and corrupt," hit back Ngoni Buoyed, Chairperson of referees association.

Bouyed questions why Zifa would choose to bring foreign referees for one set of matches, and then expect the same referees accused of curruption to handle other matches, and the match officials are now threatening a boycott of all matches until the impasse is resolved.

"So we suggest in the meantime, they continue to bring the foreigners while investigating these allegations. Why should they continue to use referees who have been labelled incompetent and corrupt?,”charged Bouyed.

Zifa's response is even worse amateurish than the earlier decision to hire foreign referees without establishing the truthfulness of the complaints.

“Referees thinking of boycotting matches better be very careful because we will deal ruthlessly with any such cases,” was Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze's shocking reaction.

Zifa are definitely in no position to make such draconian and autocratic declarations. They have messed up big time, the least they can do is to apologise to the referees and follow due process which includes proper investigations and verification of allegations before taking any decisions against guilty parties.

Besides, if all referees boycott matches and decide to resign from their jobs, there is no time to train or upgrade junior referees. Zifa will not be in any position to hire referees from neighbouring countries to officiate in the final 24 matches in the league.

Again, the events at Barbourfields involving one of the hired foreeign referees just confirms the obvious, that is, that the grass looks greener on the other side, yet it may not exactly be better. There is no guarantee that referees from South Africa or Zambia are more competent than local referees.

If there is a problem with Zimbabwean referees, Zifa and the PSL have to deal with the ulcer in the flesh properly. Hiring foreign referees on an ad hoc basis is certainly not a panacea to the refereeing problems, if the problem as complained about by Dynamos indeed exists. 

Zifa, as custodians of local soccer, might have terribly shot themselves in the foot through impulsive actions. Trashing the image of the country's referees and presenting them to the international eye as corrupt and incompetent does nothing to better the image of local football, already tainted by allegations of match-fixing.

Are some Zifa officials in a self-serving crusade rather than acting in the best interests of the game?

That is the question which most Zimbabwean soccer followers must be asking themselves in the wake of the unfair insinuations by Zifa that all local referees are 'corrupt and incompetent'.


AFCON 2013
Live Coverage
::To be Advised (as Games come)

Useful Links
:: Sports Discussions
:: Soccer News Archives
:: Zimbabwe Warriors
:: Affiliates (Reporters)
:: Suggestion Box
:: Soccer Regulations
:: Other Soccer News
:: Sports Academies

Follow Us on Twitter


To ADVERTISE, email to "sales at beezsports dot com"

Disclaimer | Affiliates | Soccer Regulations | Suggestion Box | Sports Academies |© Copyright 2010-2011 BeezSports International