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Referees under spotlight


LOCAL referees handling matches in the final round of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches come under the spotlight this weekend with three matches that will decide the 2013 championship on Sunday.


Allegations of match-fixing have been raised in one of the penultimate ties featuring Chicken Inn and defending champions Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium last Sunday.

Only one club, without evidence, crybabies Dynamos have pointed fingers at the Zifa Referees Committee, accusing acting chairman Ndumiso Gumede of influencing the appointment of referees prior to their Sunday match, competently handled by Hardly Ndazi. DeMbare allege Ndazi has previously handled their matches unfairly.

The Zifa Referees Committee is headed by Gumede and is composed of Patrick Marumbi, who is in charge of appointing referees with the assistance of Ndaba Ncube, secretary Tendai Bwanya, co-ordinator Japhet Mfiri, Fifa trainer Sabelo Sibindi-Maphosa and ex-officio member Obert Mamvura.

Three clubs, Harare City (53 points), Dynamos and Highlanders on 51 points, are vying for the championship and definitely the climax of the league on Sunday will have all eyes focused on the match officials.

Harare City take on Caps United at the National Sports Stadium, Dynamos host relegation-threatened Black Mambas at Rufaro while Highlanders entertain Shabanie Mine, who are not safe from relegation either.

Retired referee Joseph Mususa, who is also a fitness instructor, yesterday said the final round of the matches definitely have a bearing on the match officials.
Mususa said no room for error should be allowed in these matches especially in the observance of the rules of the game.

“These games actually have a bearing on the referees. One would not want to commit any error that will be of benefit to another team. Psychologically, they have to be psyched up and be above board especially in the application of the rules of the game.

“We do not want to hide behind the finger and say we are human and we make mistakes, but we have to be right on the spot. Ordinarily, I am cocksure that the Zifa Referees Committee will appoint referees that will be competent for these games,” Mususa said.

Mususa retired in 2005.

All the last eight matches will be played on Sunday and 2009 referee of the year Thabani Mnkantjo, however, believes the match officials of day should not be under any pressure, but whoever takes charge has been presented with an opportunity to shine.

“These games should be handled just like any other games. The referees will not be under any pressure at all, but this is the best time to show what they are made of and this is the time to shine,” Mnkantjo said.

Mnkantjo retired from match officiating at the end of 2010 when he turned 45 after a successful eight-year career.

Six teams that include Shabanie Mine, Triangle, Hwange, Black Mambas, Buffaloes, Black Rhinos are not safe from relegation with the police side Mambas having the toughest encounter against Dynamos who are looking forward to defending the title they have won in the last two year.

Hwange have what appear like an easier tie against relegated Motor Action at home while Rhinos will be away to Monomotapa, who have also been condemned from the top flight league.

Sunday: Dynamos v Black Mambas (Rufaro), Triangle v Chicken Inn
(Gibbo), Tripple v How Mine (Dulibadzimu), FC Platinum v Buffaloes
(Mandava), Monomotapa v Black Rhinos (Gwanzura), Hwange v Motor Action
(Colliery), CAPS United v Harare City (NSS), Highlanders v Shabanie (BF) – all matches kick off at 3pm

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