By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
In a first in the history of football refereeing in the country, the Zimbabwe Referees Committee (ZRC) will start releasing names of officials that would have been sanctioned for poor performances.
According to ZRC chairman Bryton Malandule, sanctioned referees will be sidelined for a given period of time in a move aimed at gaining the public’s confidence and helping improve refereeing standards in the country.
“We have referees who make game changing decisions which are so adverse that the public is left wondering what action is taken against such officials. While in the past action has indeed been taken but not made known to the public, we intend, going forward, to publicise all underperforming referees and all this will be based on the match commissioner’s reports,” said Malandule.
He said some referees had already been sanctioned this season,but declined to divulge their identities until they officially adopt their proposed new stance.
However, Chronicle Sport can reveal that one official who has since been provisionally suspended was among those that handled the explosive Highlanders and Caps United league match at Barbourfields Stadium.
Malandule also revealed that in order to give all referees fair game time during the season, they have since made it a policy that each of the Zifa panel referees get at least two games a month.
“You will not have a referee blowing the whistle week in and week out; at the most one may get maybe three games, especially if they are potentially tense games that need experience, but our position is that all our officials must be at the centre at least for two games in a month.
“Its pointless to have a referee being a fourth official throughout the season; what will you be doing to that referee? How will he gain experience and improve himself or herself,” said Malandule.
He also rubbished claims that the committee had a certain clique of referees that it was giving games on a weekly basis, with Bulawayo’s Prince Mathumo being at the centre of these allegations.
Zifa Matabeleland North chairman Dennis Chuma is in charge of PSL games referees’ appointments.
“I want to believe Chuma is a professional who would not do such a thing like appointing one referee every weekend. People might be having their own hidden agendas to come up with all sorts of accusations, but we won’t be swayed, we will make sure we do our duties as professionally as possible,” said Malandule.
Zimbabwe has 51 centre referees. The Chronicle