Whis­tle blown on ref­er­ees

African Independent - - SPORT - THOMAS KWENIATE

WHILE SOUTH­ERN Zam­bian and South African ref­er­ees have flown the South­ern African re­gion’s flag very high at the re­cently ended Africa Cup of Na­tions tour­na­ment, other mem­bers of the re­gion have brought shame to the pro­fes­sion of the men in black.

Zam­bian Janny Sikazwe cer­tainly brought hon­our to whis­tle men in gen­eral when he fault­lessly han­dled the Afcon fi­nal be­tween Cameroon and Egypt – ex­pertly al­low­ing the game to flow, while pro­fes­sion­ally ap­ply­ing the rules to the let­ter with­out fear or favour.

Botswana’s Julius Bondo was a fourth of­fi­cial for the Cameroon match against Ghana, while South African Daniel Ben­nett han­dled the tem­pes­tu­ous quar­ter-fi­nal be­tween Burk­ina Faso and Tu­nisia in Li­bre­ville. But their Namib­ian col­league – Ed­wardt “Boy-Boy” Nd­jadila – has brought a dark cloud over the men in black when CAF sus­pended him for eight years from all foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties this past week.

Nd­jandila, who is Man­ager of Ref­er­ees, is al­legedly im­pli­cated in ma­nip­u­lat­ing the re­sults of an African Cham­pi­ons League match fea­tur­ing An­golan side Kabus­corp and Su­danese side El Mer­reikh in Luanda dur­ing April two years ago.

His ban­ning or­der was con­firmed world­wide by Fifa fol­low­ing the re­lease of CAF’s charge sheet from his hear­ing. It found him guilty of cor­rup­tion and match-fix­ing re­lated to the afore­men­tioned game.

Ac­cord­ing to CAF spokesman Hicham Al Am­rani, Nd­jadila pock­eted US$21 000 from the An­golan club to in­flu­ence the re­sult of the sec­ond leg en­counter.

“We dis­cov­ered in our in­ves­ti­ga­tions that Nd­jadila was promised US$60 000, with half of that amount to be paid up­front and the bal­ance at the end of the match if he en­sured the host team won the game by a 3-0 mar­gin.

“How­ever, the An­golans only won 2-1 and El Mer­reikh, who had won the first leg match 2-0 in Khar­toum, there­fore, ad­vanced to the next round 3-2 on ag­gre­gate.

“With the re­sults not go­ing their way, the An­golan team of­fi­cials laid a fraud charge against Nd­jadila and another Namib­ian match of­fi­cial Jack­son Pavaza.”

Pavaza was the ref­eree of the day and was as­sisted by Isaskar Boois and Christof Al­fred Vries.

Yet, stran­gly , while the ref­er­ees have been pun­ished for ac­cept­ing a bribe, the Kabus­corp, which of­fered them the bribe, es­caped any sanc­tions and CAF needs to look into this par­tic­u­lar mat­ter closely to dis­cour­age the ma­nip­u­la­tion of re­sults in the fu­ture.

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