Referee assault verdict delay Mandaza slams teams for stalling disciplinary process
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