Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Referees’ Committee vice chairman Wilfred Mukuna has angrily rejected Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa’s assertion that the swift suspension of last Sunday’s match officials was a mere whitewash.
Mukuna announced the immediate suspension of assistant referee Bongani Gadzikwa after his bogus offside call denied Highlanders an equaliser against rivals Dynamos in a match broadcast live around the continent on Supersport 9.
Dynamos went on to win 3-2.
Mukuna, a former top referee, termed Mubaiwa’s attack as baseless and released seven more names of referees that have also been suspended for poor officiating.
Mubaiwa had complained that no action had been taken against some blundering match officials that handled other games that were not broadcast live and it was rich of the referees’ body to take such swift action because this particular encounter involved Highlanders.
The DeMbare boss said it raised eyebrows that his team had a clear goal turned down against Tsholotsho for an erroneous offside, but nothing was done, while Gadzikwa was publicly “hanged”.
However, Mukuna said “people without facts should keep quiet and not make unnecessary noise as he revealed that the officials that handled that match, referee Thomas Massa, his assistants, Allan Barewa and Nyarai Chirwa, fourth official Munyaradzi Majoni, and match commissioner Tazvitya Chipere, have been suspended pending investigations.
The referee and his assistants are being charged for overall poor officiating, while the match commissioner is being hauled over the call for failing to cite the disputed call in his report.
“Some of these people who are making noise have dirty hands. They are spewing verbal diarrhoea without facts and you can quote me on that,” said Mukuna.
“We are a serious committee going through a very serious phase of cleaning our football. Just because an issue has not been reported does not mean nothing was done”.
The former FIFA panel referee was also once hit with a six-week suspension for poor officiating in a 1998 clash involving DeMbare and Bosso at Rufaro.
“We have told our referees since our June 20 meeting that we are no longer going to hide names of bad apples. It’s gloves off now. We will name and shame! Yes we understand that to err is human but some errors are too raw to stomach”.
According to Mukuna, Bulawayo-based referee Faith Mloyi was suspended for four weeks for legitimising a goal from an offside position in a match that Chapungu won 1-0 against Flame Lily in May.
Assistant referee Edgar Rumeck was sanctioned for a poor offside call in a league match involving FC Platinum and Highlanders that ended 2-2 in Zvishavane.
“I also want to appeal to clubs to invest in video cameras so that when they make complaints against referees, we have all the evidence before us. That way, we all can help our football. We will do this without fear or favour,” said Mukuna.
Last year, the referees committee banned a Division One referee and match commissioner for six and 10 years respectively after they were found guilty of match-fixing.
Suspended referees to date:
Chapungu V Flame Lily
Assistant referee: Faith Mloyi
FC Platinum v Highlanders
Assistant referee: Edgar Rumeck
Dynamos v Tsholotsho
Referee: Thomas Massa
First assistant: Allan Barewa
Second assistant: Nyarai Chirwa
Fourth official: Munyaradzi Majoni
Match commissioner: Tazvicha Chipere
Dynamos v Highlanders
Assistant referee: Bongani Gadzikwa