ZIFA is considering ordering a replay of the ill-fated Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Dynamos and Highlanders, which ended in a 1-all draw on Sunday.
by KEVIN MAPASURE
DeMbare’s Cameroonian striker Christian Ntouba was dismissed by referee Anthony Ncube for a head-butt on Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa towards the end of the match.
Barely 24 hours after the match, Zifa made a shock announcement that they had rescinded Ntouba’s red card.
Ntouba would have missed two matches with the red card, including the big Harare derby against Caps United at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Yesterday, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa met with the Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United bosses — Keni Mubaiwa, Mordern Ngwenya and Farai Jere respectively.
In the same meeting were Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa and manager Richard Chihoro.
Chiyangwa declined to talk about the meeting saying that he was busy, but it is understood the Zifa boss proposed that the league match between the two sides be replayed since both sides felt aggrieved.
Highlanders agreed to a replay, but they also wrote a letter to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) raising concerns and demanding that they be given three points from the Sunday match (see story on Page 23).
The PSL has since distanced itself from the whole farce and confirmed that procedure had not been followed in the way Dynamos lodged their complaint with Zifa.
Other top-flight clubs have also been angered by the decision to rescind the red card despite Ntouba having been caught on camera as well as by the second assistant referee head-butting Muduhwa.
The PSL clubs are set to convene a meeting today on the sidelines of the launch of the Chibuku Super Cup with some of them set to propose that the clubs boycott Dynamos matches.
“The clubs will meet tomorrow, but some have already said that they would rather Dynamos get the points rather than playing them and endorse such fraud,” a source told NewsDaySport. “Even Caps United are not willing to play the derby under such circumstances. At the meeting Chiyangwa proposed that we have a replay. Both Dynamos and Highlanders are interested since they both feel aggrieved. But the final decision will be made by Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda.”
The clubs do not see the sense of playing in a field that is tilted in Dynamos’ favour. DeMbare are locked in a race for the league title with leaders Chicken Inn and FC Platinum who are both on 49 points compared to Dynamos’ 51.
DeMbare have played two matches less, while Ngezi Platinum have 49 points from 25 matches.
What has irked the clubs is the lack of professionalism and the blatant disregard of the PSL standing orders and rules governing the competition.
While Zifa claimed that the Referees’ Committee met on Monday and deliberated on the issue, it emerged that the referees’ report which should have been an integral part of the meeting was by yesterday still with the PSL and had not been submitted to Zifa.