PSL referees under attack

This week Caps United and Chicken Inn coaches Lloyd Chitembwe and Joey Antipas, respectively, said that the referees have reduced the league into a “comic show”.

WITH five rounds of matches having been played in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League so far this season, referees have hogged the limelight facing brick bats from coaches on a weekly basis.

This week Caps United and Chicken Inn coaches Lloyd Chitembwe and Joey Antipas, respectively, said that the referees have reduced the league into a “comic show”.

Dynamos’ Genesis Mangombe also complained about match officials’ performance after his side drew against Bulawayo Chiefs. He also fumed at referees following a nil-all draw against Yadah a couple of weeks back

Caps United were frustrated when Ralph Kawondera rattled the nets from outside the penalty box, but celebrations were cut after assistant referee Mncedisi Maposa flagged for offside.

The match was abandoned in the 88th minute due to crowd trouble with FC Platinum leading courtesy of a Juan Mutudza first-half strike.

After the match, Chitembwe launched an attack on the officials.

“The problem in our football is that the wrong man always takes centre stage and it has reduced this PSL to a comical show,” he said.

Chitembwe added: “It is unfortunate when week in, week out people are always complaining about poor match officiating. We cannot have referees making stupid decisions if we aspire to be a serious football nation. It is saddening to see the referee taking the centre stage for all the wrong reasons."

Likewise, Antipas suggested that match officials were holding the league back after his side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Manica Diamonds.

“This is disappointing. It was poor officiating from kick-off, we were in trouble. They were just blowing against us,” he said. “The goal they scored went out, but it was waved play on. The PSL is becoming comic because of poor officiating,” Antipas said.

Dynamos have only won once so far this season and under-pressure coach Mangombe poured out his frustrations after watching his team’s goal being disallowed in their match against Chiefs on Sunday.

“Some of the decisions made by the match officials are causing us to lose maximum points,” fumed Mangombe during his post-match interview. This is the second time this has happened. In my opinion, I thought it was a clear goal, I did not see any infringement. I did not see the offside. Some of these decisions are causing problems for us. We are losing points because of these match officials. Let us not hide this, because it is going on and on.”

A couple of weeks ago he also complained about match officials after his side were held to a goalless draw by Yadah.

However, Premier Soccer League chairperson Farai Jere has leapt to the referees’s defence saying the officiating has improved.

He said that the league is now working with a smaller pool of referees to help improve the quality.

“There are moves to make sure we have good referees in our league. We have reduced the number of referees who officiate in the PSL so that we have quality. The referees keep on working and improving,” Jere said.

“We need to respect our referees. If you have grievances, there are channels where you can launch you complaint. Some of them have been suspended after reports came in. But generally, the quality of our refereeing has improved. Let us respect referees, they make decisions in a split of a second, even in Europe VAR [video assistant referee] is making mistakes. Someone sitting and watching on a monitor makes mistakes.”



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