Premier Soccer League matches cancelled as referees disappear from stadiums

16 Nov, 2021 - 19:11 0 Views
Premier Soccer League matches cancelled as referees disappear from stadiums Some of the supporters who turned up to watch the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Highlanders and Ngezi Platinum Stars which was however cancelled

The Sunday News

Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

ON a dramatic on the sporting front in the country, all scheduled Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches did not take place today (Tuesday) after referees withdrew their services after the Sports and Recreation Commission suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association board.

Five PSL matches were meant to be played across the country, with the highlight being the clash between Highlanders and Ngezi Platinum Stars at Barbourfields Stadium. At Emagumeni, referees from Hwange actually arrived at the stadium before they left on the pretext that they were going to buy something from the nearby shops only for the match officials not to return.

The two teams warmed up before they were informed by PSL officials to leave the stadium as the referees were nowhere to be found. It was confirmed this was the same scenario at venues across the country.

A sizeable crowd had turned up at Barbourfields with the bulk of the fans having parted with US$10 for entry into the rest of the ground. The fans, while they insisted on refunds were informed that they will gain free entry into Bosso’s next match.

The SRC announced the decision to suspend the Zifa board, a decision it said came after extensive consultations and further deliberations on matters relating to the governance and management of football in Zimbabwe.

Below are the reasons given by SRC in coming up with the decision to suspend the Zifa board

1. Mismanagement and lack of accountability in the use of public funds with specific reference to the letter issued to ZIFA on the 3rd of July 2019 where Zifa was asked to account fully for the use of public funds in the aftermath of the 2019 AFCON campaign. This letter has not been responded to at all.

2. The sending of national teams outside of Zimbabwe without Covid-19 clearances from the SRC

3. The SRC is also in receipt of a report of alleged sexual harassment of female referees by key technical staff within Zifa. Despite several requests for the matter to be decisively dealt with, Zifa did not give the matter adequate attention in view of its gravity. Whereas the nation has made significant strides in empowering the girl child to be an active participant in sports, incidences of sexual harassment should be conclusively dealt with to enable a conducive environment for participation by all.

4. Failure to address gender imbalances relating to the treatment of female national teams compared to their male counterparts in terms of allowances, up-keep and unfavorable operating conditions.

5. Failure to address and make appropriate investment of the development fund as provided by Fifa for grass root and junior football development.

6. No evidence of any meaningful development at grass root level.

7. A looming constitutional crisis within Zifa viz pending elections.

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