ZIFA and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are headed for another clash following the latter’s summoning of Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo for a disciplinary hearing, a development that has drawn a response from the local football governing body who believe that only they have the right to handle such matters.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The country’s supreme football body issued a statement on Monday saying the PSL cannot discipline coaches.
The media release, though not mentioning Gumbo, was a clear response to the PSL’s summoning of the Chicken Inn coach, who ordered his players off the field, causing the abandonment of the Chibuku Super Cup first round match against Yadah FC at Ascot Stadium last month after the latter had been awarded a late penalty.
Gumbo is being charged with violating order 31.4 of the PSL rules and regulations which states that it is an act of misconduct “on the part of an official, where the said official causes the abandonment of the match”.
The PSL acted on referee Munyaradzi Majoni’s report, which indicated that Gumbo instructed his players to leave the field after Majoni awarded a penalty to Yadah towards the end of the match.
Following Gumbo’s summoning, Zifa said only its technical development committee had the power to institute disciplinary proceedings against coaches affiliated to it, virtually stripping the league of any power to censure offending officials.
“All Premier Soccer League clubs are warned to desist from interfering with Zifa operations and should respect the association’s standing committees. It is the Zifa technical development committee that has the duty of licensing coaches, players and administrators and thus all disciplinary issues concerning coaches should be handled by the association’s relevant judicial bodies, and not the league. The Zifa competitions committee has the prerogative of sanctioning and monitoring all football competitions. The Zifa referees’ committee presides over all referees’ matters.
Premier Soccer League officials are, therefore, mandated to respect and observe football protocol,” the statement read in part.
Yesterday PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare said they had not received official communication from Zifa in that regard.
“We have not received any official communication from Zifa. If we do, we will forward that communication to the PSL governors for deliberation,” she said.
Interestingly, last year, some coaches were hauled before the PSL disciplinary committee for acts of misconduct and Zifa did not raise any objection.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was charged under order 31 of the PSL rules and regulations for threatening match officials at Rufaro Stadium after his side lost 2-1 to Harare City last October.
Former Dynamos assistant coach Murape Murape was also hauled before the same disciplinary committee after he confronted Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe at the National Sports Stadium.
Former Border Strikers coach Luke Masomere was also charged over comments he made about match officials before a match against Highlanders.
It is not the first time that Zifa has been at loggerheads with the PSL as last year they were involved in a promotion/relegation tiff that claimed the scalp of PSL chairman Peter Dube, who is still suspended to date.
Last month, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa, acting in his capacity as referees’ committee chairman, tried in vain to revoke a red card shown to Dynamos’ Christian Epoupa after he head-butted Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa. The red card stood as the Cameroonian remained suspended for the subsequent matches.