Ref­er­ees un­dergo fit­ness test

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Grace Chin­goma Harare Bureau

ELITE match of­fi­cials, who han­dle Pre­mier Soc­cer League matches, will this morn­ing un­dergo a phys­i­cal fit­ness test in an ex­er­cise that will also be used by the Zifa Ref­er­ees Com­mit­tee to de­ter­mine which of their mem­bers will rep­re­sent the coun­try on the 2017 Fifa panel.

The fit­ness ex­am­i­na­tion for­merly known as the “Cooper Test” will be con­ducted at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium and is for cen­tre ref­er­ees and the as­sis­tants for both male and fe­male of­fi­cials.

Zifa Ref­er­ees Com­mit­tee vice-chair­man Glad­more Muzambi will be among the of­fi­cials who will pre­side over the tests.

Muzambi yes­ter­day said any of the of­fi­cials who will fail the test this morn­ing would be im­me­di­ately sus­pended from han­dling any of the top-flight games.

The com­mit­tee is look­ing at test­ing 48 ref­er­ees and the ex­er­cise is an an­nual Fifa ap­proved test which as­cer­tains phys­i­cal abil­i­ties of match of­fi­cials.

It is highly re­garded as it seeks to es­tab­lish the phys­i­cally fit match of­fi­cials in the coun­try and the test has over the years been char­ac­terised by sur­prises with some top ref­er­ees fail­ing it and hav­ing to travel to such coun­tries like Zam­bia or Botswana to try and seek an op­por­tu­nity for a re-test.

Muzambi said the ref­er­ees would un­dergo a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion in which they first have to sat­isfy be­fore they are deemed el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in the fit­ness test. The for­mer Fifa and Caf panel ref­eree said his com­mit­tee would af­ter the phys­i­cal test meet to draw a 17-mem­ber list of ref­er­ees and as­sis­tants which they would rec­om­mend to the world soc­cer gov­ern­ing body.

“This test will cer­tify ref­er­ees fit to be se­lected for the Fifa panel for 2017. Af­ter the phys­i­cal test the com­mit­tee is go­ing to sit on Wed­nes­day and se­lect the ref­er­ees to be rec­om­mended to Fifa be­fore the due date, Oc­to­ber 2.

“Zim­babwe has 17 avail­able slots for both male and fe­male ref­er­ees to han­dle in­ter­na­tional as­sign­ments. We’ll look at the fit­ness test and com­bine it with the ref­er­ees’ progress re­port for the whole year as well as the med­i­cal re­port to come up with the ref­er­ees that’ll han­dle Fifa as­sign­ments next year,” said Muzambi.

Cur­rently, on the trio of cen­tre ref­er­ees — Nor­man Mate­mera, Phi­lani Ncube and No­more Musundire are on the Fifa panel while there are also six as­sis­tants.

But just hav­ing three cen­tre ref­er­ees is a far cry from the days when the coun­try used to have at last seven in each cat­e­gory.

The phys­i­cal fit­ness which is stan­dard for all Fifa ref­er­ees is made up of two tests that is the re­peated sprint abil­ity which mea­sures the ref­er­ees abil­ity to per­form re­peated sprints over 40 me­tres.

The ref­er­ees will also go through the in­ter­val test, which is a longer ver­sion and rates the ref­eree’s ca­pac­ity to per­form a chain of high-speed runs over 75 me­tres with 25 me­tres walk­ing in­ter­vals in the end cov­er­ing a to­tal of 4 000 me­tres.

Muzambi said should any ref­er­ees fail the fit­ness test to­day they will not be al­lowed to con­tinue officiating in the lo­cal games un­til they have passed.

“At this stage of the sea­son we don’t ex­pect ref­er­ees to fail, they should be at their peak. If a ref­eree fails this test they’ll not of­fi­ci­ate in the lo­cal games un­til they pass an­other test for them which can only be or­gan­ised af­ter a re­cov­ery pe­riod of six weeks,” said Muzambi.

Apart from Mate­mera, Ncube and Musundire, the list of ref­er­ees to be tested to­day in­cludes Ruzive Ruzive, Tap­fu­maneyi Mutengwa, Pedzi­sai Chadya, Salani Sibanda and Bon­gani Gadzikwa.

Reg­u­lar faces Kuda Majo, Stella Ruvinga, and Saneliso Sibanda will head­line the women’s list that also has Faith Mloyi, Thanks Nyahuye and Claris Si­mango.

ath­letes.

A to­tal of 64 ath­letes, among them 21 Zim­bab­weans, took part in the main event.

In the half-marathon, the Zim­bab­wean duo of Welling­ton Varevi and Tawapo Bhiri won the men and women’s races re­spec­tively.

South Africa’s Bethel Net­shifhefhe and Thomas Ngob­eni dom­i­nated the male cat­e­gory in the Veter­ans and Masters races while their com­pa­triot, Hilda Mdokomme, topped the fe­male Masters’ cat­e­gory.

Zim­babwe’s Ag­ness Masvosve won the women’s 21,1km Vet­eran’s race.

The top three in the half-marathon pock­eted R3 000, R2 000 and R1 000 while those who took part in the 10km race re­ceived R1 000, R750 and R500 re­spec­tively.

South African ath­letes dom­i­nated all the cat­e­gories in the 10km race.

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