‘Ref­eree's de­ci­sion was fi­nal'

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

HIGH­LANDERS said they will de­fend their play­ers against any ret­ro­spec­tive ac­tion threat­ened by Zifa pres­i­dent Phillip Chiyangwa for al­legedly bul­ly­ing Dy­namos striker, Chris­tian Epoupa Ntouba.

Chiyangwa raised eye­brows on Mon­day af­ter an­nounc­ing that Zifa had re­scinded Ntouba’s straight red card with­out fol­low­ing due process.

Ntouba was sent off for head butting Bosso de­fender Peter Muduhwa in an ex­plo­sive Cas­tle Lager Premier­ship game at Ru­faro Sta­dium.

Speak­ing at the club’s weekly press brief­ing yes­ter­day, High­landers’ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Nh­lanhla Dube and head coach, Erol Ak­bay, said that Chiyangwa was off­side.

High­landers wrote to the Premier Soc­cer League on Tues­day mock­ing Chiyangwa’s de­ci­sion and de­manded to be awarded a penalty they were de­nied by Masvingo-based ref­eree, Arnold Ncube, when striker God­frey Makaruse was felled in the box in the 52nd minute.

“We haven’t re­ceived any of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Zifa about a re­play or ac­tion on our play­ers. In as far as we know, the game ended and as High­landers, we are not in the habit of play­ing re­plays be­cause we know that a ref­eree’s de­ci­sion is fi­nal.

“The let­ter we wrote to Zifa was a satire and it’s self­ex­plana­tory. We were just high­light­ing the anom­aly in the de­ci­sion made to re­scind the red card. We un­der­stand the rules and laws of the game that a ref­eree’s de­ci­sion is fi­nal. What we sim­ply did was lift a mir­ror to re­flect this ridicu­lous de­ci­sion (re­scind­ing of the red card) and we also raised equally ridicu­lous sug­ges­tions,” said Dube.

“It was all a satire be­cause we know that com­plaints are raised through the right chan­nels. We’re a com­pet­i­tive side and have never been cry ba­bies. We know er­rors are made in foot­ball and when­ever we raise is­sues, it will be for pur­poses of the good of the game,” he said.

Ak­bay weighed in say­ing he was shocked by Chiyangwa’s de­ci­sion and praised Muduhwa for do­ing a great job of keep­ing Epoupa un­der lock and key.

“I was shocked to hear peo­ple try­ing to fault my play­ers af­ter the big game. No­body can touch my boys be­cause they didn’t do any­thing wrong. My player (Muduhwa) did a very good job. I was an at­tack­ing player and I spent lots of time with de­fend­ers. What I know is that a de­fender will do ev­ery­thing to make sure that a striker loses con­cen­tra­tion and my player was a step ahead of their player (Epoupa),” said Ak­bay.

Mean­while, the PSL has tech­ni­cally ren­dered in­valid Chiyangwa’s nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Ntouba’s red card, say­ing the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion is fi­nal.

In a state­ment, the PSL said they had not re­ceived a protest let­ter from Dy­namos or com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Zifa re­gard­ing the ex­pul­sion of Ntouba and were only in pos­ses­sion of the ref­eree’s re­port.

This means Ntouba is in­el­i­gi­ble to play in Sun­day’s re­ar­ranged match against Caps United.

The other play­ers set to miss Sun­day’s en­counter in­clude Dy­namos’ duo of de­fender Lin­coln Zvasiya and mid­fielder Tic­a­haona Chipunza as well as Caps United’s Valen­tine Musarurwa, who are sus­pended af­ter ac­cu­mu­lat­ing three yel­low cards each. — @ ZililoR

Nh­lanhla Dube

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.