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Dubious referee spoils Barbourfields clash

by Staff reporter
24 May 2024 at 08:34hrs | Views
Highlanders 1-1 Manica Diamonds
Referee Lawrence Zimondi stole the spotlight in yesterday's Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium, displaying a lack of competence in his officiating.

Throughout the game, Zimondi made a series of questionable decisions, leaving fans questioning his understanding of the rules of the game. One notable instance was when he stopped play for an injured player but failed to follow the correct procedure of a drop ball, instead allowing the player in possession to resume play as if it were a free kick. This decision, contrary to the rules, confused both players and spectators.

Zimondi's poor decision-making persisted, with frequent calls for minor infractions or non-existent fouls, raising doubts about his suitability for officiating at this level.

The frustrating experience extended to both players and spectators, overshadowing Highlanders' achievement of ending Manica Diamonds' eight-game winning streak. Besides the team's struggles in front of goal, the referee's decisions left fans disgruntled.

Highlanders' goalkeepers' coach, Daniel Khumalo, received a red card in additional time, adding to the frustration of the afternoon. Despite numerous attacks on Manica Diamonds' goal, Highlanders failed to capitalize, only scoring once in the opening minutes of the game.

The visitors seemed caught off guard by conceding early but managed to equalize, with Highlanders dominating possession but lacking creativity in the final third.

While the crowd urged players to shoot, attempts were often blocked by Manica defenders or delayed, leading to increased frustration among fans who had paid higher gate charges for the match.

Highlanders almost secured victory on several occasions, but Manica Diamonds' goalkeeper, Geofrey Chitsumba, thwarted their efforts.

The match also saw Marvelous Chigumira start at left back, with Andrew Mbeba returning from suspension and Gillian Nyathi partnering with Peter Muduhwa in defense.

In his post-match interview, Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu refrained from commenting on the match officials but hinted at dissatisfaction with some decisions. Meanwhile, Manica Diamonds' coach, Jairos Tapera, expressed contentment with securing a point away from home.

The poor refereeing standards in local football remain a significant concern, necessitating urgent action from Zifa to preserve the game's integrity and prevent further disillusionment among fans and players alike.

R Pitisi, M Chigumira, D Mhindirira (P Ndlovu, 87mins), L Chikuhwa, Mckinnon Mushore, A Mbeba (M Khoza, 80mins), Mason Mushore, P Muduhwa, G Nyathi (B Mlotshwa, 90mins), B Ncube (C Chigonero, 87mins), M Ncube
Manica Diamonds
G Chitsumba (gk), L Masibhera, T Jubane, F Banda, T Chisi, J Takunda, N Mupinduki (E Karembo, 73mins), B Amidu (K Dhemere, 73mins), C Teguru, P Mtasa (M Tapera, 46mins), T Macheke (I Binzi, 80mins)

Source - the herald
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