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Ambulance absence delays match kickoff

by Staff reporter
21 Feb 2022 at 05:29hrs | Views
THE absence of an ambulance at the stadium led to an almost 20-minute delay in kick-off in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Bulawayo derby pitting Chicken Inn and Bulawayo Chiefs at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.

Mars Ambulance Services, which was supposed to provide the ambulance, received an emergency call to ferry a patient to Harare a few minutes before kick-off, forcing the home team, Chicken Inn, to look for an alternative service provider and finally settling for Netstar Ambulance Services.

However, another dilemma soon faced Chicken Inn as Nestar's fees were more than double what Mars charges, resulting in further delays, as Chicken Inn officials looked for the difference.

"The delay was due to the non-availability of an ambulance. We could not greenlight the match to kick off without that critical department," said match commissioner and retired referee Dave Sibanda.

Chicken Inn secretary Tawengwa Hara said they were ready to start at regulation time, but could not as a result. He said Mars charges US$80 which is met by the home team and when they raised Netsar, they were told they must fork out US$200 upfront.

"Mars had a last minute assignment to ferry a patient to Harare and we ended up engaging Netstar as a last-minute arrangement who charged US$200. The home team pays for that service including another US$150 for the PSL doctor who tests the referees," said Hara.

After everything was handled, the match finally kicked off and it was a pound for pound affair, typical of a derby and the sizeable crowd, mainly rallying behind Amakhosi, was kept on its toes up to the end of the game.

The fairest result would have been a draw but the GameCocks struck two goals in the first-half, which eventually condemned the Ninjas to their first defeat of the season, although they managed to pull one back deep into the second-half.

There was no controversy this time around, in both officiating and substitution comics.

The match was well handled by Hwange-based officials Mhaka Magari, as centre referee, Phikisani Ncube (1st assistant), second assistant Michael Zulu and fourth official Hardley Ndazi.

Last week, match officials allowed Bulawayo Chiefs to play with 12 players for close to three minutes after Obrey Chirinda remained on the pitch despite being substituted for Billy Veremu in the 72nd minute.

Source - The Chronicle