Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
THE ZIFA Referees’ Committee have dismissed accusations that a purge of match officials who served under the previous leadership is going on in the family of domestic football match officials.
New chairman Brighton Malandule said they were handling the portfolio with professionalism.
A report of the claims was also sent to ZIFA president Felton Kamambo.
In the week that Kwekwe referee Thabani Bamala hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons following his questionable officiating in the high-profile Premiership match between Highlanders and CAPS United at Barbourfields last Sunday, allegations of victimisation and a systematic purge by the committee, targeted at some officials who worked under their predecessors, have emerged.
Malandule chairs the committee, while Brighton Mudzamiri is his deputy and their committee has been accused of flouting FIFA regulations on “their composition, failure to adhere to corporate governance tenets and critically also the manner in which their match officials are appointed’’.
But Malandule came out guns blazing insisting that his committee, which also has Sabelo Sibindi, Dennis Tshuma, Obert Zhoya and Masakadza Makonese, had been executing their duties without any bias.
“These days there are some people who make it their business to just trash people’s images using social media and I don’t know whether it is for financial gain or for some other reasons,’’ he said.
“I have been a match commissioner since 2013 after my retirement from refereeing and I have commissioned games even when I was a Southern Region board member. And there is nothing wrong with me carrying out those duties now.
“The purpose of a match commissioner is to assess referees’ performance and at FIFA level they have both a commissioner and a referees’ assessor, but since we don’t have money in Zimbabwe, the commissioner doubles up.
“It must also be understood that the match commissioner’s reports go to the competition organisers and the chief commissioner, so in the case of the game I commissioned between Highlanders and CAPS United for example, my reports will go to the PSL and the chief commissioner, who is Mudzamiri.
“If a referee scores low marks from five out of 10 and below, and if he constantly under-performs, he is downgraded, but for professional reasons we do not publicise the names.
“If a referee makes a game-changing decision or a glaring mistake in one game, he could be suspended. I must also stress that at the start of the season we held a course at Hillside College which was also used to re-grade the referees.
“We have a panel of about 72 referees and we must also create room to promote the younger and talented referees who would have excelled at the courses and no one is entitled to be on the panel for life.’’