Manica coach fumes over poor refereeing

Johanisi Nhumwa

MANICA Diamonds coach Johanisi Nhumwa has questioned the quality of match officiating in the Premier Soccer League, suggesting that the local game needs technological aid.

This follows his team’s 1-1 draw at home against Herentals at Vhengere Stadium in Rusape on Saturday.

Nhumwa’s boys went for the break trailing 1-0, only to equalise in the second half, courtesy of Liberty Chakoroma’s 56th-minute goal.

Although the result did not affect their standings (4th) on the log, pressure continues to mount for coach Nhumwa, as his side is yet to collect maximum points in the second round of the league marathon.

“I think we should have won the match. It would have happened, but because of decisions by the referee (it didn’t happen),” he said.

“Those were poor decisions. It is so pathetic. If this is the (kind of) officiating, then that is not football. It seriously needs us to get into the new technological means of officiating in football,” an angry Nhumwa told journalists during the post-match interview.

Nhumwa joins the list of local coaches who have complained about poor officiating this season as the incidents appear to occur one match after another.

Officiating in the top-flight league has been questioned by many, including the Premier Soccer League which in April advised football mother body Zifa to investigate the matter, claiming that it had received a lot of complaints from clubs.

Commenting on the issue, football analyst Alois Bunjira told NewsDay Sport that the country lacked competent referees.

He said: “We have always said that the level of refereeing is very low in the country, that is why we no longer have popular top referees in the country.

“I do not rule out corruption, but I feel we don’t have enough competent referees. It may also be the result of the training and courses we are giving to our referees.”

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