Referees must be professional


FOOTBALL matches are handled by referees, but ultimately the outcome of each game is determined by the 22 players on the field of play at any given time.

The referee is expected to apply the rules and regulations of the game in a fair manner without prejudice to any team or player and without trying to influence the outcome of a match.

Regrettably, for Zimbabwean referee Ruzive Ruzive, this has not been the case in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League of late. That he is human like the rest of us and can make mistakes is acceptable, but when one “creates” mistakes, they cease to be seen in that manner. Instead, the football world will see that as a deliberate plan to manipulate the results of a football match in favour of one side and this boggles the mind as the soccer-loving fans, sponsors and even the team’s genuine supporters do not understand whether it’s a game of football or something else.

Initially, Ruzive awarded a ghost goal to Black Rhinos in their match against Chiredzi FC at Rimuka Stadium last April when it was crystal clear that the ball had not crossed the line. Chiredzi lost the match 2-1.

The same match official last week, was again in the eye of another storm when he awarded a penalty to Dynamos in their match against FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium. Dynamos won the match 1-0.

While Ruzive will get sympathisers from some football fans and others, who were so desperate, angry and emotional to defend him last week, there is no iota of doubt that Dynamos striker Simba Sithole fell on his own inside the box when he attempted an overhead kick. Football fans pay their hard earned cash to watch competitive games and not “delayed” matches; not “fixed” matches decided by an incompetent official.

Sponsors invest in football development for the same reasons and naturally will get worried when their sweat was destroyed by such levels of disregard for the rules and regulations of the game.

What poor refereeing does is to give any team a false sense of excellence. They might believe they were good yet they were not playing well; it’s just the referee who was helping them to win.

As usual, soccer lovers and sponsors watch all the referees closely and it is hoped that they will, at some point, make their masters at Zifa take notice. Zifa must be decisive in dealing with poor match officials like what happens in other countries.

On Sunday, Ruzive was abused at the National Sport Stadium during the Caps United-Bantu Rovers match. That is not good for him, his profession and other referees.

It would be a misnomer to paint all referees with one brush over Ruzive’s poor officiating — or is it incompetence? — but there should be some improvement for the good of the game.

Zifa must continuously work to improve the standards of match officiating in Zimbabwe for the country to produce once again a new crop of match officials that can match the likes of Felix Tangawarima, Brighton Mudzamiri, Thabani Mnkantjo, Sabelo Sibindi-Maphosa and Kenny Sigoba.

Each time local referees are not considered for events like the Africa Youth Games, All-Africa Games and Cosafa Cup, the country has always wondered why, but clearly there is something wrong with them. Referees need to measure up or ship out.

There are no apologies about that.


  1. The are many reasons behind the scenes contributing towards poor officiating. To begin with the selection into the ZIFA panel is greatly biased. We have seen the so called young referees sky rocketing to officiate the PSL games at the expense of tried and tested referees who are languishing in the Division 1 league. The selection committee just hide behind age limits, and as a matter of fact its only here in Zimbabwe were the 40 aged refereees are deemed to be too old to officiate in the PSL. Its a shame. Watch the PSL games u will soon see that most of the young referees are half baked cakes who always thrive nekubhadhara vakuru. I closely follow soccer and if not watching PSL games I do watch D1 games, and I have realised that referees in D1 are far much better than some of the young man recruited into the ZIFA panel. My word of advise to the ZIFA panel selectors is revisit referees in D1 league and select without favour there is better crop. A Referee like Ruzive is doing more harm than good to the Zimbabwean referees hatidi zvekunyarana, thats the reason why vasingasheedzwi kunoridza mabhora mahombe. Teams are suffering to say the least. Lets be realistic in football.

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  3. Usati wanyora nyaya yako nyora zita rako tizive watiri kutaura naye,Mr Editor i recogn you are an aggrieved person and i can sense it from your article.If you were sitting in the terraces were you the best postioned person to judge that RUZIVE made a wrong call.Video footage showed us Bello pulling Sithole’s jersey so there is no doubt about it ,it was a genuine penalty.Mr writer do not show off your foolishness by committing yourself in issues that you are not familiar with,maitiro ako unenge uri mukepekepe akarwadziwa,manje uchasvotwa takuridzai neimwe pena pagame 15

  4. A very good article indeed. That Ruzive Ruzive ref is tarnishing the image of other few good PSL refs. Its a fact that most refs favour ‘dembare dewet’ . @Glamourboy, stop blaming the writer of the article. He exposed the truth and the truth hurts. Is glamour boy your real name? I urge ZIFA to ban these half baked refs forever.

  5. The problem lies squarely with the appointments committee which keeps on appointing the same refs week in and out @ the expense of other referees who receive only one match in a blue moon. This ultimately induces a sense of corruption in the refs. A case in point is that of mlindeli ndebele who was involved in a match on Sunday, Thursday and Sunday again. Where are the others??

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