Ref­eree as­sault ver­dict de­lay Man­daza slams teams for stalling dis­ci­plinary process

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

ZIFA South­ern Re­gion chair­man Musa Man­daza says late sub­mis­sions of re­ports by Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers and Ama­ga­gasi have caused the de­lay in their dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee charg­ing and try­ing play­ers who beat up a ref­eree a fort­night ago.

Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers de­fender Lethukuthula Mathe faces a life ban from all foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties for as­sault­ing ref­eree Bekezela Makeka dur­ing his team’s 0-1 loss to Ama­ga­gasi in a South­ern Re­gion Divi­sion One League match.

Mathe went berserk and punched Makeka sev­eral times for show­ing him a straight red card for a hor­ri­ble tackle on an Ama­ga­gasi player.

The at­tack was cap­tured on video and has been trending on so­cial me­dia plat­forms re­sult­ing in some con­ti­nen­tal tele­vi­sion sta­tions broad­cast­ing the clip.

Mathe’s in­ci­dent came just a week af­ter Artwell Ny­oni of Tech­no­sphere re­port­edly at­tacked ref­eree Mhaka Ma­gare in his side’s 0-1 loss to Ama­ga­gasi.

Man­daza, who wit­nessed the bar­baric in­ci­dent dur­ing the Vic­to­ria Falls derby be­tween Tigers and Ama­ga­gasi, had promised to swiftly deal with the ram­pant in­dis­ci­pline creep­ing into the league.

He said “stern mea­sures” would be taken against Mathe and Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers’ of­fi­cials that in­cited the vi­o­lence.

Man­daza yes­ter­day took a swipe at Tigers, Tech­no­sphere and Ama­ga­gasi for stalling the dis­ci­plinary process.

“We had to wait for the clubs to sub­mit their re­ports which they took long to pre­pare. The ref­er­ees and match com­mis­sion­ers’ re­ports came on time.

“We have since re­ceived the clubs’ side of the story in writ­ing and the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee is now look­ing at the doc­u­ments. We ex­pect a ver­dict by the week­end,” said Man­daza.

The Zifa South­ern Re­gion dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee con­sists of God­win Seng­weni, Shep­herd Chamunorwa and Stan­ley Ntenezi.

Man­daza said should the com­mit­tee de­cide to call for a hear­ing af­ter go­ing through ev­i­dence, they will sum­mon the play­ers and clubs in­volved.

“We’re hope­ful the ver­dict will come early so that we deal with this thing once and for all.

“Should the com­mit­tee feel that there is a need to call for a hear­ing, then we will call the par­ties af­fected.”

Mathe and Ny­oni are likely to join for­mer Masvingo United goal­keeper Mu­zondiwa Gonese and the ex-Hwange duo of Ozias Sibanda and Alick Ny­oni, who were banned for life for as­sault­ing match of­fi­cials.

There is also a pend­ing as­sault case in the North­ern Re­gion Divi­sion One League where a ref­eree was at­tacked when Mushowani Stars hosted Herentals. North­ern Re­gion boss Wil­lard Manyen­ga­vana said they were wait­ing for a po­lice re­port as the mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice.

“We need to act fast and this is­sue should be re­solved be­fore the next fix­ture as it may in­con­ve­nience other teams.

“Remember Herentals are in the cham­pi­onship race so de­lay­ing the rul­ing will not be fair to them and their ri­vals.

“We will col­lect the po­lice re­port and leave ev­ery­thing to the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee,” said Manyen­ga­vana.

The East­ern Re­gion Divi­sion One League match be­tween Yadah Stars and Te­nax at Sakubva Sta­dium in Mutare was last month aban­doned af­ter 20 min­utes when the ref­eree awarded a penalty to the lat­ter.

The hosts stormed off the pitch in protest. — @ ZililoR

Musa Man­daza

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