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Hardly Ndazi retires

by Staff reporter
05 Mar 2023 at 16:26hrs | Views
FAMED Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Hwange-based referee Hardly Ndazi has retired from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) referees panel to pursue other avenues in life.

Ndazi has called it a day at the age of 39 having started handling local Premier Soccer League matches since 2011.

While there is no retirement age, Fifa reserves the right to require referees over the age of 45 to undergo additional technical assessments as well as specific medical examinations and fitness testing on a case-by-case basis for them to continue officiating.

"I have decided to retire. I have seen the need to take a rest and pursue other avenues in football and in other spheres in life. I have had 11 great years of service in the Premier Soccer League. I will not be going to take charge of Division One matches because I think I have had my time as a match official," said Ndazi who was promoted from being a Class One Ordinary referee to become one of the country's elite football officials just over a decade ago.

Born and bred in Jambezi in Matabeleland North before he enrolled at Chinotimba Primary School and at Mosi Oa Tunya High School in the resort town of Victoria Falls, the towering Ndazi added: "My match officiating career was punctuated with ups and downs. People are bound to air out their views but I must say, I did my best. I am a human being hence some mistakes I made as a centre man. Football politics will always be there but to be frank, I had no stone to grind with any local football team."

For times without number, a no-nonsense Ndazi had problems with a plethora of clubs chief among them being former league champions Dynamos who accused him of bias.
Interestingly, rival sides have gone on to claim referees have traditionally favoured Dynamos and, in recent years, the likes of Norman Matemera, Tichaona Chapfika (late) and Ruzive Ruzive, who is now the Zimbabwe Referees Committee (ZRC) deputy chairperson, have faced allegations of sympathising with the Harare giants.

Last year in April, Ndazi was pummelled by Zifa Southern Region Division One side Binga Pirates' fans who also accused him of bias in a home match that they lost to ZPC Hwange. This was after ZPC Hwange came from behind to beat Binga Pirates 2-1.

A video of Ndazi being beaten by fans went viral on social media. Consequently, Binga Pirates were summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing.

Source - The Chronicle