SHABANIE Mine coach Luke Masomere, who lifted the BancABC Sup8r Cup last Sunday, has encouraged referees to be tough on players who feign injuries when the Mbada Diamonds Cup roars into life across the country this weekend.
Shabanie Mine beat FC Platinum 5-3 on penalties at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane walking away with $120 000 in the process.
Masomere leads his charges against Chicken Inn in the preliminary round of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at the same venue on Saturday.
“I would like to encourage referees not to allow time-wasting antics which teams apply in matches because deliberate time wasting is tantamount to match-fixing. As coaches, we are not happy with a situation whereby referees allow deliberate time-wasting.
“If you look at the referee who was in charge of our match against FC Platinum, you would have thought he was from another country because he did not allow any time-wasting. Sometimes you find a player lying in the centre of the field while the goalkeeper will also be lying there all feigning injury which is time-wasting,” said Masomere.
The match promises to be exciting as Chicken Inn will want to avoid defeat having been booted out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup quarter-final by Shabanie Mine.
Despite Shabanie Mine playing in their home town, Masomere said they are not reading much into that.
“There is no advantage in playing at Mandava because Chicken Inn have played FC Platinum there and they got good results. A team can lose at home,” he said.
In Bulawayo, a double header is lined up at Barbourfields (BF) Stadium on Sunday as How Mine lock horns with Black Rhinos before Highlanders face Triangle.
How Mine assistant coach Isheunesu Chaka said they are gearing up for the game.
“We are playing at BF, but the fact that we are in Bulawayo does not give us an advantage as we go into the match against Black Rhinos. Black Rhinos are also used to playing at BF. We are not under pressure at all, but we want to win the match,” he said.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu said they are not going to bank on home advantage.
“Playing at home gives us a slight advantage because we will have a lot of our followers attending since we will be playing at home, but we have seen teams winning away from home,” he said.
On the same day, Hwange will entertain BancABC Sup8r Cup runners-up FC Platinum at the Colliery.
Hwange coach Nation Dube said they are ready to host FC Platinum at home.
“This is a different game altogether because this is like a money game. The Colliery Stadium is our homeground so that means we will have many supporters coming to watch the game. The gate charges are a dollar so it means no one will want to stay at home. The support of the 12th men is very important as we go into the game,” he said.