‘THE REFEREE ABUSED US’, DeMbare skipper files police report after Harare Derby drama
Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS captain Murape Murape claims referee Darlington Shonhiwa was very abusive and targeted the Glamour Boys with volleys of insults during their blockbuster Harare Derby showdown against CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The DeMbare skipper filed a report with the police claiming the referee also “verbally abused” him, using vulgar words, at the end of the game.
Murape claims the abuse was also directed at a number of other DeMbare players.
The ageless forward yesterday revealed they decided to report the referee at the police post after the referee insulted them using some words that cannot be printed in a family newspaper like The Herald.
The two Harare giants battled to a 1-1 draw in font of a good crowd, estimated to be over 21 000 on Sunday, who were treated to a better dose of football compared to the previous seasons where the Derby appeared to be losing its glitter.
However, the DeMbare skipper said the referee could have spoiled a good afternoon of football.
Murape said Shonhiwa was always hostile to them from the first whistle and was not amused with his behaviour after he insulted their mothers when they confronted him after the match.
“Fair Play doesn’t apply to the players only, but to the match officials as well because the referee is part of the game,” said Murape, who volleyed his side into the lead as he once again showed that experience is priceless at this level.
“In fact, he is the man in charge of the game and as players we have to call to him time and again for protection when we feel the opponent has wronged us.
“We don’t expect a match referee to be using vulgar language on players. We are adults and we should respect each other for that. I have been in football for a long time and I have never experienced such treatment in all my career.
“From the word go this referee was nasty towards us and I really don’t know why. This man was abusing us during the whole 90 minutes with very bad language. How do you expect me to respond and risk being sent off?
“It’s better for a referee to caution me than to insult me and my mother who is not even anywhere near the stadium. This guy was nasty towards us from the start.”
Murape claims the referee spoiled a good contest between two rivals who gave everything to try and win this match,
“He actually spoiled what was supposed to be a beautiful game for some of us. I have nothing personal against him because I didn’t know him until yesterday (Sunday).
“Before the game we were actually happy to see him because we thought today we have a new face whom we have not seen before. It was not going to be the usual referees we all know.
“We all know football should be the winner at the end of the day. So we just want him cautioned and hopefully we will draw our lessons from this.
“We decided to take the matter to the police because this wasn’t about football anymore when someone attacks you personally with unprintable words and then go ahead to insult your mother,” said Murape.
Shonhiwa was handling the Derby for the first time and had an afternoon to forget when he was pelted with missiles by some rowdy supporters after the final whistle.
The referee also made a number of questionable decisions, which disrupted the flow of play.
Despite the issues with the referee, Murape said DeMbare played well although he felt CAPS United gave a more spirited fight this year.
Dynamos are still to lose a match to their opponents since 2009 and had not conceded a league goal against their opponents since 2010.
Gerald Phiri scored for CAPS United with a brilliant free-kick in the second half after Murape had put the Glamour Boys ahead with a classy finish 26 minutes into the game.
Sunday’s game was better in terms of entertainment value compared to the previous instalments of the Harare Derby in the last three years.
“I think both teams gave a very good account. We had both prepared well and a draw was a fair result although everyone in our team was disappointed since we wanted a win.
“But the draw was even sweeter to CAPS United because you could see by the way they celebrated, a stranger would have thought they had won the match.
“But without taking away anything from them, they played well and with a bit of some luck yesterday (Sunday) was supposed to be their day to beat us.
“We now go back to work on our weaknesses and shortcomings and, hopefully, we win the return leg,” said Murape. CAPS United skipper Tapiwa Kumbuyani, said they failed to take their chances.
Makepekepe, however, are still hopeful they will break the jinx.
“To us the draw was not fair because in terms of creating chances and dominating the game we were much better.
“I feel we deserved something better by collecting maximum points.
“Our fans did a great job in rallying behind us. Dynamos scored but the fans didn’t abandon us. They kept on supporting us, that’s great and we just want to thank them for their support.
“It was a much better game considering we got the much-needed goal in the second half.
“The last time we played them we couldn’t score and on Sunday we found ourselves down in the first half but we kept on fighting until we got that equaliser,” said Kumbuyani.