DeMbare-Bosso match ref axed

Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Referees’ Committee has suspended assistant referee Bongani Gadzikwa with immediate effect for his dubious offside call in the highly explosive encounter between bitter rivals Dynamos and Highlanders at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

DeMbare won the game 3-2 after Gadzikwa denied Bosso a legitimate goal by Edmore Muzanenhamo in the 80th minute, adjudging that the Highlanders forward was offside.

Referee Norman Matemera initially signalled a goal and pointed to the centre but changed his decision when Gadzikwa suspiciously flagged Muzanenhamo.
Bongani Gadzikwa and Norman Matemera
The match was broadcast live on South African pay per view channel Supersport 9 and repeated replays showed that Muzanenhamo was miles onside with probably his only crime being that he was unmarked inside the box.

Zimbabwe Referees’ Committee vice-president and former Fifa panel referee, Wilfred Mukuna confirmed that a number of referees had been disciplined for poor officiating, which he said badly tarnished the image of the profession.

“It’s gloves off now. We can’t allow a few individuals with sinister agendas to spoil our good image, so yes; action has been taken against inept officiating, including from yesterday’s (Sunday) game. We are not even waiting for a complainant from the aggrieved party when we all saw what happened. So the culprit has been suspended pending investigations. This is a new world order and we are no longer going to withhold information from the media because this creates a misconception that nothing is being done,” said the tough talking Mukuna.

The no-nonsense former referee said details of the exact action taken would be made public soon.

“Rotten eggs should not be part of our basket. Even match commissioners are not spared because our game should be clean. Together we will put things right in the beautiful game, to err is human but blatant errors are not condoned,” said Mukuna.

Another referees’ committee member said: “The whole world saw what happened at Rufaro Stadium. We all saw that the goal was genuine but somehow, Gadzikwa thought otherwise and that spoiled an otherwise good football afternoon for everyone. From what I gather, the axe has already fallen.”

Highlanders also wrote an official letter of complaint to the Premier Soccer League against the officials yesterday.

“We have written a letter of complaint to the league. This cannot be allowed to continue,” said Highlanders secretary-general Emmet Ndlovu.

Part of the letter reads: “We note with serious concerns efforts to deliberately prejudice our team. Yesterday (Sunday) we witnessed yet another classic case of officiating and regrettably such blatant officiating invokes, in us, memories of yesteryear. It’s our opinion that the said officials must be suspended from our game.”

A few years ago, Gadzikwa exchanged nasty words with Bosso legend Willard Mashinkila Khumalo after the Murewa-based official allegedly told him that “we will beat you home and away” during a league match against Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium.

In 2013, Matemera angered Bosso when he added six minutes optional time when the fourth official had indicated three minutes allowing DeMbare to snatch an equaliser in a game the Bulawayo giants felt they should have won to break the then seven-year jinx.

Reigning Referee of the Year, Brighton Chimene and assistant referee Edgar Rumeck, who handled the FC Platinum and Highlanders match that ended 2-2 in Zvishavane have also been frozen out for their lacklustre officiating.

In that game, Bosso were denied a genuine goal by Knox Mutizwa after Rumeck claimed he had impeded an FC Platinum defender before scoring.

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