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Strange refereeing decision causes abandonment of Bosso, Dembare match

by Staff reporter
15 May 2017 at 07:02hrs | Views
WHAT a shame that the flagship match of our topflight league is now going to be decided in the boardroom instead of the field of play due to poor officiating.

Highlanders are certainly going to be found guilty of causing the abandonment of their match against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday after crowd trouble following the visitors' equaliser in the 40th minute.

Bosso took the lead in the 23rd minute through Rahman Kutsanzira and Dynamos struck back through Christian Epoupa in the 40th minute, albeit from a clear offside position, which second assistant referee Thomas Kusosa legitimised.

We are not condoning the fans' behaviour. In fact, we strongly condemn them for causing the match to be abandoned, but for how long should strange refereeing decisions be allowed to continue costing cash strapped clubs unabated?

We applaud the police for their calm and sensible handling of the potentially explosive situation because had any carelessness been employed, serious injuries, wanton destruction of property and even fatalities could have occurred as the stadium was packed and there were still long queues outside with fans still streaming in when the match was initially stopped in the 40th minute before being called off as the disturbances continued simmering.

Kusosa must also take the blame for yesterday's disturbances, for it was his poor decision to legitimise an offside goal that triggered the unrest that eventually led to the game's premature end.

Yes, officials make mistakes and have a split second to make a decision and we are not calling for them to be perfect, but when the same official keeps making dubious calls involving the same team, we begin to question whom he is trying to impress.

There must be consequences for match officials that can't interpret the offside rule like Kusosa did yesterday.

Epoupa was clearly in an offside position and for a Fifa panel linesman, Kusosa should know that if the ball rebounds or is deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent to a player in an offside position, he remains offside.

Had it been any other official that had made the blundering bad call yesterday, we believe the fans would have allowed the game to continue, but because it was Kusosa, who has previously made a number of questionable decisions against Bosso, they demanded that he be replaced and refused to budge despite numerous pleas from officials.

It was wrong of the fans to demand that an official be replaced, but his decisions have and will cost Highlanders money and points.

But will Kusosa be sanctioned for his poor officiating? He has gotten away with making bad calls before and continues to be assigned officiating duties despite his obvious howlers, which begs the question what assessment yardstick the referees' committee uses, because if it was effective, Kusosa would have long been banished from the topflight league due to his consistent incompetence.

Something has to change and we urge the referees' committee to act decisively against incompetence and immediately instead of waiting for one to fail a refresher course. Relying on reports by centre referees and match commissioners is not good enough because they are bound to shield each other. Match officials are not there just to agree with each other, but to make the right decisions because clubs are suffering from paying fines due to poor officiating.

What a shame that a match that was being beamed live on SuperSport portrayed our game as barbaric to the world due to hooliganism fed by repeated poor officiating that is seemingly tolerated by our football authorities.

Shame on all those that played a role in yesterday's abandonement of the game and may this be a wake-up call for our football authorities to ensure poor officiating is not used as an execuse for future disturbances.

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