Allegations of favouritism by match officials towards FC Platinum continue to haunt coach Norman Mapeza, who has defended his team, saying that they are not treated any differently from others.
BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
Mapeza admitted that the allegations had soured relationships with other Premier Soccer League coaches, but maintained that his team always played fairly and received no favours from referees.
He pointed out to a penalty call that his team was denied in their league match against Chicken Inn at the weekend, which went on to end in a one-all stalemate.
The former Zimbabwe senior national team captain blamed the media for fuelling such allegations.
Dynamos complained that FC Platinum always got favours from referees just before the two teams clashed in a league match three weeks ago.
DeMbare also complained at perceived biased match officiating in the aftermath of the game after losing 3-1, although they had no complaints about the goals.
Addressing the media yesterday ahead of their match against Bulawayo City today, Mapeza said the issue of biased officiating towards his team was putting referees and players under pressure.
“You saw it on Saturday, there was a report that FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum are being aided by referees. Sometimes it is not about coaches, but you guys (journalists), who start these problems,” he said.
“Against Chicken Inn, we had a penalty shout which was turned away. If you guys start these allegations they spill to coaches. You need to come up with evidence. I do not think it is fair for journalists and coaches to attack others when they do not have evidence. Because of these stories some coaches come here with the notion that they will be treated unfairly. Yet we have worked so hard for the points we have attained, it is not fair.”
Commenting on today’s fixture, Mapeza said his side had a clean bill of health and they would be going all out for a win.
“We do not have any injury worries. Our objective is to collect maximum points, we never think of playing for a draw.”
The platinum miners are one of the main contenders for the league title and only a win will be satisfactory for them this afternoon.
They sit four points shy of log leaders and fellow platinum miners, Ngezi Platinum Stars, who play Yadah FC this afternoon.