No foot­ball for 10 years for ref as­sault player

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

THE Zifa South­ern Re­gion dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee has slapped Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers’ de­fender Lethukuthula Mathe with a 10-year foot­ball ban for as­sault­ing a ref­eree in a Divi­sion One League match last month.

Mathe (31) will, how­ever, serve half the sen­tence af­ter the com­mit­tee sus­pended five years on con­di­tion he does not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence should he re­turn to action af­ter serv­ing his pun­ish­ment.

The Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers de­fender, who es­caped a life ban from all foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties, as­saulted ref­eree Bekezela Makeka dur­ing his team’s 0-1 loss to Ama­ga­gasi in Vic­to­ria Falls.

Mathe went berserk and punched Makeka sev­eral times for show­ing him a red card for a crude tackle on an Ama­ga­gasi player. The at­tack was cap­tured on video and trended on so­cial me­dia plat­forms, with some con­ti­nen­tal tele­vi­sion sta­tions even broad­cast­ing the clip.

Musa Man­daza, Zifa South­ern Re­gion chair­man, said Mathe’s pun­ish­ment serves as a warn­ing to would-be of­fend­ers that the league does not con­done vi­o­lent be­hav­iour.

“Mathe has been sus­pended from all foot­ball re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties and we hope that he will re­form. Would-be of­fend­ers should know that we don’t tol­er­ate any be­hav­iour that brings the game of foot­ball into dis­re­pute. We can’t tol­er­ate un­couth be­hav­iour in our league and what I wit­nessed dur­ing that Vic­to­ria Falls derby be­tween Ama­ga­gasi and Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers was un­called for,” said Man­daza.

The league’s dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee also slapped 34-year-old Tech­no­sphere striker Artwell Ny­oni with a 12-month sus­pen­sion and or­dered him to pay a $100 fine be­fore the end of De­cem­ber.

Ny­oni’s team man­ager Mthen­jwa Moyo was hit with a 10-match sus­pen­sion and fined $200 af­ter be­ing found guilty of vi­o­lently charg­ing at ref­eree Mhaka Ma­gare dur­ing Tech­no­sphere’s 0-1 loss to Ama­ga­gasi last month.

The sus­pen­sions came into ef­fect dur­ing the mid­week game played on Wed­nes­day.

Without Ny­oni, Tech­no­sphere were held to a 1-1 draw by Indlovu Iyany­athela, while Tigers were walked over af­ter fail­ing to travel for the away en­counter against cham­pi­onship chas­ing Bu­l­awayo Chiefs.

Chiefs were given three points on a 3-0 score line, tak­ing their points tally to 50, one be­hind lead­ers Bantu Rovers, who were held 0-0 by Ntabazin­duna.

Third-placed Ama­ga­gasi, who have amassed 49 points, beat vis­it­ing Cas­myn 2-1 in Vic­to­ria Falls.

Mean­while, the cham­pi­onship race con­tin­ues with Rovers fac­ing Tech­no­sphere at Lu­veve Sta­dium to­mor­row, while Chiefs face tricky Makomo in Hwange on Sun­day.

Zifa South­ern Re­gion moved the Makomo Chiefs game to Sun­day at Makomo’s re­quest, as they’re hav­ing their sixth-year an­niver­sary at the Col­liery Sta­dium tonight.

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