FC Platinum protest Sibanda’s conduct
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.