BY FORTUNE MBELE
CAPS United will officially be lodging a complaint against what they called biased match officiating by Midlands’ referee Thabani Bamala after they were denied what looked like a clear goal and two penalties in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday.
The match, watched by 13 600 paying fans and broadcast on national television, ended in a goalless stalemate and the Green Machine feel that had it not been for the bad match officiating, it could have gone their way.
Caps immediately notified the match commissioner Bryton Malandule that they would be lodging a complaint and have also alerted the PSL of their intention.
A Zifa board member, Malandule chairs the Zifa referees committee.
Caps United administration manager Morton Dodzo yesterday said they would exhaust all football legal routes to get redress.
“We are a professional institution and we are guided by rules and regulations. What we are going to do is to make sure we exhaust the legal routes in trying to seek redress.
Yesterday (Sunday), we submitted an official notice to the match commissioner (Malandule) advising them of our intention to officially lodge a complaint against biased officiating. We also notified the PSL that we are going to lodge an official complaint as a club,” Dodzo said.
“We have put in place systems that will help us gather evidence that will support our report and make sure we lodge our complaint within the stipulated time. We are not going to pre-empt and we are not going to say much, but only to the football statutory bodies in which we have confidence. We are not only complaining as Caps United, but on behalf of all football stakeholders who invest a lot into the game.”
It’s not the first time that the Green Machine have raised the red flag on Bamala. In 2016, they complained why the Kwekwe-based referee was being assigned all of their matches in Bulawayo.
Caps United lost to How Mine, Chicken Inn and Highlanders in the matches that Bamala officiated and in the game against Bosso, striker Leonard Tsipa was shown the red card for violent conduct.
In 2017, when Caps United lost to Dynamos in the Independence Trophy semi-finals at the National Sports Stadium, coach Lloyd Chitembwe was also on Bamala’s case, saying the referee had failed to properly handle the match after his defender Valentine Musarurwa was red-carded for a foul on Takunda Sadiki.
In Sunday’s game, Caps United had a penalty appeal dismissed in the first half when Bosso defender Peter Muduhwa appeared to have handled inside the box and in the second half when an overlapping Valentine Ndaba was brought down, also inside the box.
Towards the end of the game, another contentious decision was made to deny Caps United a goal by Dominic Chungwa, with second assistant referee Wirimai Muroiwa adjudging that the striker was offside.
The first assistant referee was Nyika and the fourth official was Blessed Mpande.
Meanwhile, Highlanders grossed ZWR$76 710 from the blockbuster match after 13 600 fans paid to watch the game at Barbourfields.
Highlanders treasurer Donald Ndebele said 803 fans paid using the two clubs sponsors’ NetOne platform OneMoney, which allowed fans into the stadium at half price for the rest of the ground, wings and VIP stands.
Highlanders is entitled to 40% of the gross after paying off stakeholders that include the Bulawayo City Council, Zifa, PSL, Sports and Recreation Commission and the police.