Top Clubs In Favour Of Foreign Referees

The clubs say there are certain matches do not require local referees and bringing in foreign referees will eradicate the corruption and biased refereeing that has characterised Zimbabwean football.

Even most of the football fans who spoke to Radio VOP share the same opinion that foreign referees should be given the chance as the locals have caused confusion and in some cases incited violence through their handling of matches.

This follows the incidents free officiating by South African and Zambian referees in the semi finals of the Mbada Holdings Cup in which Dynamos beat FC Platinum 1-0 while Motor Action prevailed 2-0 over Zimbabwe Saints over the past weekend.

Dynamos assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya describes the foreign referees’ performance as top drawer  which had been long overdue adding that  if funds permitted he would want to see more and more foreign referees being assigned to handle local matches ‘especially those involving the teams at the top of the table.’

Reigning soccer star of the year Charles Sibanda of FC Platinum added his voice to the debate saying the foreign referees were impressive but says the locals should also have their chance.

He in the meantime, suggested a situation in which a local referee would handle a top match with the assistance of two foreign assistants or vice versa in order for the local referees to catch up.

But Motor Action’s Chief of Protocol Simioni Jamanda was straight to the point saying there should be a budget for referees from neighbouring countries to officiate at PSL matches as according to him the locals have failed.

He says the fact that none of the four Mbada Holdings Cup semi finalists are not complaining just shows the competence of the foreign referees.

Former Lengthens director, John Chikochi, says although the idea is good, the major problem is that Zimbabwean football does not have the money to sustain such a cause. He says clubs are struggling to pay their players and such monies would rather be channeled towards the day to day survival of clubs.

However Shooting Stars supporters Irvine Chikukwa thinks otherwise saying the locals are not all that bad but there were only a few corrupt ones who need to be rooted out. He says an investigation should be carried out and a report compiled and the bad apples banned from football.

Although foreign referees will handle the Mbada Holdings Cup final between Dynamos and Motor Action, Premier Soccer League Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Ndebele said at the moment there are no plans to hire foreign coaches to handle PSL matches.

The Zimbabwe Soccer Referees Association has not taken lightly the fact that the Zimbabwe Football Association went to South Africa and Zambia to hire coaches for the Mbada Holdings Cup, a tournament which pays referees about three to four times more than what they get for handling PSL games.

Ironically, the local referees handled all the Mbada Holdings Cup matches before the semi final stage.