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Bosso coach Brito ‘questions’ refereeing standards in Zimbabwe

Highlanders’ head coach Baltermar Brito has ‘questioned’ refereeing standards in Zimbabwe by citing how match officials seem ‘reluctant’ to deal with some of the negative tactics being employed by other clubs in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

The Portuguese said this during a pre-match briefing held at the club’s offices on Thursday in Bulawayo.

Brito who outlined that he is not willing to talk much about match officials went on to mention a few negative tactics he has observed so far and believes referees are failing to deal with them.

These include the popular goalkeeper’s delaying tactics approach which at one moment saw Pitso Mosimane criticising Elvis Chipezeze describing him as “the master of sitting and killing the game” when the gaffer was still at Mamelodi Sundowns back in 2020.

But apart from goalkeeper’s time wasting, Jose Mourinho’s former assistant coach also bemoaned the way the referees add ‘few minutes’ of injury time towards the final stages of the game.

“I don’t want to speak much about the match referees. But we all need to assess and everyone should agree it wasn’t (in their match against WhaWha last week) a good decision by the referee,” he said.

“I can accept a mistake because I know it’s not easy to referee a match, but on that situation two guys (referees) were checking the behaviour of the goalkeeper and I’m curious how the four eyes didn’t see the behaviour of the goalkeeper.”

Brito’s remarks come after Highlanders’ goalkeeper and trusted penalty taker Ariel Sibanda missed a penalty in the dying of minutes of the match against WhaWha on Saturday in Gweru.

It appears Brito together with some of the club’s faithfuls adjudged the penalty miss to WhaWha’s goalkeeper whom they believe overstepped or was off the line when he saved Sibanda’s spot kick.

Furthermore, the 70-year-old coach who suffered his first defeat since his arrival in June as WhaWha edged Highlanders 2-0 at Ascot Stadium on Saturday added:

“I can accept a lot of circumstances during the game because its normal and referees are also human beings but in that situation four eyes were checking, I don’t know how they didn’t call for a retake.

“That was not the only situation during the game. If a team breaks during a counter attack and the opponent holds the player to avoid the attack and make a foul it’s supposed to be a yellow card.

“And sometimes they (match officials) are checking that and they are not applying the rules of the game.

“Giving a player chance to make one, two, three fouls without giving him a yellow card that is not fair.”

Speaking of referees’ additional time the Portuguese gaffer whose charges face Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium in their next fixture on Sunday afternoon in the Bulawayo derby went on to say:

“I want to make a question. Do you (journalists) know how many was the total game in terms of minutes? Do you (journalists) know?

“We had three stops in the second half, normally for making changes and if we make three substitutes and the other team also makes the same changes how can a referee only give two minutes of extra time?”

Then bemoaning about the goalkeeper’s time wasting tactics Brito said: “And sometimes on other situations, we are attacking the goalkeeper of the opponents falls down, wasting time. The game stops for six minutes and at the end of the day we get two minutes of extra time.

“When they (WhaWha) scored the second goal we said to the referees, we now know we are no longer going to have enough time of playing our football because they will keep on falling down wasting time.

“Goalkeepers can fall, but referees at the end of the day they should give more extra time not two minutes but five, six, seven or eight minutes, its now famous.”