FC Plat­inum protest Sibanda’s con­duct

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Paul Mun­dandi in Zvisha­vane

FC Plat­inum yes­ter­day of­fi­cially protested to the Premier Soc­cer League (PSL) over al­leged ut­ter­ances by Zifa vice-pres­i­dent Omega Sibanda about the con­duct of the ref­eree who han­dled their match against Chicken Inn at White City Sta­dium last week.

Sibanda was quoted in the me­dia ex­press­ing his un­hap­pi­ness with the man­ner in which Gweru-based ref­eree Thomas Massa han­dled the match.

Chicken Inn wrote to Sibanda call­ing for Massa’s im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion and also threat­ened to ap­proach world foot­ball govern­ing body Fifa seek­ing sus­pen­sion of all Pre­mier­ship games un­til a proper ref­er­ees’ com­mit­tee was in place.

Presently all match of­fi­cials are be­ing ap­pointed by PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kennedy Nde­bele in the ab­sence of a proper struc­ture.

FC Plat­inum yes­ter­day wrote to Nde­bele ex­press­ing their dis­plea­sure at Sibanda’s con­duct.

“We note with dis­may the neg­a­tive ut­ter­ances in var­i­ous print and so­cial me­dia plat­forms. The ut­ter­ances were al­legedly said by the Zifa vice-pres­i­dent Omega Sibanda re­gard­ing the match we played against Chicken Inn FC at White City Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo. Sibanda is a pub­lic fig­ure, who holds the sec­ond high­est of­fice in foot­ball gov­er­nance in the coun­try. As such, we ex­pect him to com­ment re­spon­si­bly and is­sue out of­fi­cial and fac­tual state­ments to rel­e­vant me­dia plat­forms,” wrote Ben­son Vir­i­mai, the FC Plat­inum sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

“Foot­ball stat­ues are very clear on is­sues re­lat­ing to match of­fi­ci­at­ing world­wide. If it is in­deed true, we find it ab­surd that Sibanda chose to ut­ter bi­ased com­ments on the per­for­mance of the match of­fi­cials. Our view is that the ut­ter­ances were not fac­tu­ally bal­anced and were made with mal­ice given that Sibanda has a pend­ing case at the High Court against FC Plat­inum (Case Num­ber HC3212/11) where he took foot­ball mat­ters out­side foot­ball ju­ris­dic­tion to the courts of law. We do not be­lieve that Sibanda is in good stand­ing to com­ment on FC Plat­inum matches be­cause of the pend­ing case at the High Court, as such com­ments may dis­ad­van­tage FC Plat­inum in fu­ture.”

Vir­i­mai said Sibanda should have com­mented on all in­ci­dents, such as the ref­eree’s fail­ure to send off a Chicken Inn player for a sec­ond book­able of­fence, but in­stead er­ro­neously cau­tioned the wrong player.

He charged that Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo had a scuf­fle with match of­fi­cials and also left his tech­ni­cal area and walked past FC Plat­inum’s tech­ni­cal area to ha­rass the as­sis­tant ref­eree.

Chicken Inn of­fi­cials Tawengwa Hara and Mlungisi Moyo, Vir­i­mai said, went onto the pitch to re­mon­strate against match of­fi­cials when they should have been con­trol­ling the sit­u­a­tion.

“Sibanda’s al­leged ut­ter­ances also in­sin­u­ate that FC Plat­inum bribed the match of­fi­cials; an al­le­ga­tion that is very ma­li­cious. The al­le­ga­tions also seek to por­tray that FC Plat­inum were not wor­thy win­ners of the match. Our ap­peal is that if he in­deed ut­tered these words, he must sub­stan­ti­ate the claims. We trust your of­fice shall con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions and regis­ter our com­plaint with (the) rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in the in­ter­est of Fair Play,” Vir­i­mai wrote.

Omega Sibanda

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