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Three referees suspended since the beginning of 2024 PSL season

Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

THREE match officials have been suspended for poor performance since the start of the 2024 Premier Soccer League season.

This was disclosed by the ZIFA Referees Committee this Thursday.

According to the ZIFA Referees Committee, the three match officials who were not named were suspended for matches ranging from three to six after poor officiating which affected the outcome of matches.

So far, a total of 45 matches have been played in the Premier Soccer League with poor match officiating taking centre stage.

This past weekend, CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe, Genesis Mangombe of Dynamos and Saul Chaminuka from new boys Bikita Minerals were not amused by the way their matches were handled.

The script was the same, the previous as Norman Mapeza and Mangombe all called out the man in the middle for various reasons.

“A good game was determined by the wrong man and that man is supposed to manage the game and that has reduced the PSL to a comic show as the referees are taking centre stage,” said Chitembwe.

Mangombe said, “Some of the decisions made by the match officials are now causing us to lose points and it’s the second match running.”

“The match officials need to do more, it’s only here in Zimbabwe where u find players being kicked from behind and the referees do nothing, look at the amount of injuries, it’s really sad for the players, they are not being protected,” added Mapeza.

“We play a good game and score a genuine goal and someone decides it’s not a goal and such decisions decide the match and eventually they get us fired, so, as coaches we are now surviving based on the referees’ decision which shouldn’t be the case,” said Chaminuka.

While the ZIFA Referees Committee has acted on some of the controversial matches, they have also called for caution adding that football is a highly emotional sport.

“Football is a very emotional sport. Most of the time coaches just blame officials but an hour later after cooling down, they review and see that the decision was correct. Having said that, yes, officials do make mistakes, they are also human but they must also be commended for doing good in the two most topical matches from this past weekend, both instances the decisions were correct and we commend the officials for being courageous and making the correct decisions in tense situations,” said ZIFA Referees committee chairperson, Norman Matemera.

Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League has summoned CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe and his Chicken Inn counterpart Joey Antipas to appear before a disciplinary committee for making comments that put the league into disrepute.

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