FORMER Zifa vice-president and ex-chairman of the referees’ committee Ndumiso Gumede says it’s high time the Sports and Recreation Commission reined in on Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa following the latter’s decision to revoke Dynamos striker Christian Ntouba’s red card against Highlanders at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Cameroonian was dismissed by referee Arnold Ncube in the 87th minute for head-butting Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa.
Gumede, who retired from football last year, said it was improper to reverse the referee’s decision instead of dealing with the match official if there was indeed any complaint and if the referee’s committee felt he had erred.
“Maybe there is a new law that we don’t know and I am not familiar with. I was chairman of that committee from 2010 to 2014 and during my time the law said you cannot rule against the referee,” Gumede said. “The best you can do is to deal with the referee and have him suspended, but you cannot reverse his decision or change the scoreline. If the club (Dynamos) did not complain, what is the decision based on? I This must be the time that the SRC must come in and say you (Chiyangwa) are not following the laws.”
The decision to rescind Epoupa’s red card was done within 24 hours after the match that was played on Sunday and a letter purportedly written by Dynamos secretary-general Webster Marecherera dated Monday and addressed to Chiyangwa appears to be the basis of the nullification of the red card.
“We write to you complaining about the red car given (sic) to Ntouba Epoupa. We feel the referee was not protecting our player from rough play he was encountering, hence he ended up retaliating. He was being punched off the ball and has a swollen left jaw. We therefore seek your assistance to reverse that red card decision,” reads the letter signed by Marechera.
Chiyangwa is Zifa Referees’ Committee chairman.
Gumede said it was folly for some football stakeholders to call for clubs to boycott matches in protest over the decision to rescind the red card.
“Calling for the boycott of matches by clubs would be exacerbating the problem. Teams must just play,” Gumede said.