‘Assistant referee was right’

By Grace Chingoma

The ZIFA Referees Committee chief has revealed that Caps United midfielder Kudzi Nyamupfukudza was not offside when he scored the goal whose annulment triggered violence in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final at Maglas on Sunday.

Assistant referee Thomas Kusosa (centre) is sandwiched by Highlanders acting chairman Modern Ngwenya (right) and assistant coach Amin Soma-Phiri at Barbourfields
Assistant referee Thomas Kusosa (centre) is sandwiched by Highlanders acting chairman Modern Ngwenya (right) and assistant coach Amin Soma-Phiri at Barbourfields

Gladmore Muzambi, who runs the day-to-day affairs of the Zifa Referees Committee, also leapt to the defence of assistant referee Thomas Kusosa who was at the centre of the dispute which led to the abandonment of that game.

Kusosa’s decision irked the visiting supporters, who threw missiles and injured the match official, leading to the abandonment of the match in the 65th minute with Shabanie Mine leading 1-0.

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Muzambi, who was also the match commissioner, said contrary to the general belief that the referee Philani Ncube ruled that Nyamupfukudza had been offside, the Caps United player was onside.

However, said Muzambi, one of the Caps United players involved in the build-up to the goal had been in an offside position.

In that case the assistant referee was right to keep his flag up until the referee acknowledged the offence.

“The judgment of the assistant referee was perfect but the referee took time to acknowledge the flag.

“Everything started from a throw-in at the corner flag, the player who took it, delivered the ball to a player who was slightly behind him, who then returned the ball to the initial player who was now then in an offside position,’’ said Muzambi.

‘’The referee took time to see the assistant’s flag with play continuing with a few passes and then a goal was scored by a player who was clearly onside.

“But the assistant referee correctly maintained his act, lifting the flag as they are taught that you should continue to do so until the referee sees it.

‘’So when the goal was scored, that’s when the referee saw that his assistant was raising the flag and rejected the goal.

“Technically and according to the Law 10 of the Game, the referee was correct in disallowing that goal,’’ said Muzambi.

The commissioner added that some Caps United officials helped restore order by even clearing missiles from the pitch and were eager to resume play.

Both medics from the home team and Caps United attended to Kusosa in the dressing room.

“The match commissioner doesn’t decide whether the match should be abandoned or not. It is a general belief among fans but it is the referee who has that mandate, according to Fifa.

“So we left them to decide on whether the match should carry on or not, and asked the assistant referee, who had sustained a cut which was a bit deep and was bandaged and looked shaken, whether he was fit to continue,” said Muzambi.

Caps United are likely to be judged by the Ad-Hoc Committee for offences cited on Section 8.8 and 8.9 of the Chibuku Super Cup Rules and Regulations.

Section 8.8 of the Chibuku Super Cup reads that, “causing the abandonment of a Chibuku Super Cup match,” the offence should be referred to Disciplinary Committee, who shall impose a fine of not less than $2 000 on the guilty team.

Section 8.9 says that “failure by a club to exercise control over its fans, before, during and after the match leading to chaos or violence,” the offence attracts a fine.

The Premier Soccer League Communications and Media Liaison Officer Kudzai Bare said they have since received reports from the match officials and have requested the two clubs to furnish them with their reports on what transpired on the day.

“We have received the official match reports from the match commissioner and the referees. We have asked the two clubs to send their reports detailing what transpired in Zvishavane.

“After going through the reports, we will advise,” said Bare. The Herald