Sports

Zimbabwe: Blundering Ref Majoni Suspended

ZIFA have cracked the whip on controversial referee, Munyaradzi Majoni, by suspending the blundering match official for two months after a shocking show, which made a mockery of the country’s refereeing community.

The veteran Midlands-based referee was in the eye of a storm following a poor performance, which bordered on the ridiculous, in a Castle Lager Premiership match, at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Yadah FC were left crying foul after Majoni somehow chose to show Patson Jaure a yellow card, instead of a red card, after the Dynamos captain lunged at his former teammate, Godfrey “Marubber” Mukambi.

Jaure was then given the benefit of doubt, later in the match, when he appeared to deflect a goal-bound shot with his hand, inside the penalty box.

Rather than give the Miracle Boys a penalty, which they pleaded for, Majoni chose to give them a corner kick, amid a tsunami of furious protests.

The Glamour Boys won the match 1-0.

Yesterday, ZIFA decided to act, given the glaring and graphic nature of the incidents.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association Referees Committee wishes to inform you that you have been suspended from football refereeing with immediate effect for a period of two months,” wrote committee secretary-general, Obert Zhoya.

“This follows your poor performance during the league match played at the NSS (National Sports Stadium) on Sunday, 7 November, 2021 between Dynamos and Yadah.

“The chief commissioner will be writing to you soon pointing out areas of improvement.”

A Yadah FC official last night told The Herald they will push for the PSL to explore the possibility of having the match replayed.

“We know the referee’s decision is final and we respect that and we understand that it’s one of the main foundations on which the house of football is built,” said the official, who chose not to be named.

“But, when it’s as glaring as this, and when ZIFA acknowledges and acts, we feel there should be some form of recourse for us because we are the party which suffered the most.

“We, therefore, feel we should get some form of compensation and it’s only fair that we, at least, get a replay of the match.”

ZIFA board member in charge of referees, Bryton Malandule, had earlier told the The Herald appropriate action had been taken.

This was before the letter, pronouncing the sanctions, emerged.

“I would like to assure you that appropriate action has been taken against the officials that were found to be on the wrong side, in terms of interpretation of the laws of the game,” he said.

“We believe that we have given them all that we can give them in terms of making sure that they are up to standard.

“We have received the commissioners’ report as a committee but, unfortunately, whatever decisions that we take, in terms of disciplinary action to our referees, are not for public consumption.

“What I can tell you is that as a committee, appropriate action has been taken.

“I always tell our referees that in future, to safeguard against these poor performances, as a committee, we are now going to publish the names of the referees that we have taken disciplinary action against.

“I have been warning our officials that very soon, we are going to name and shame but, for now it is an internal process, action has been taken, so that people know that we don’t take these issues very lightly.

“We take them very seriously.”

Malandule acknowledged it was disappointing to witness such questionable officiating on first weekend of a top-flight league returning after a two-year break.

“As ZIFA Referees Committee, we have zero tolerance to bad officiating, which is why we invest a lot of resources, in the development of our referees.

“As you are aware, before the resumption of football, around in May this year, we had a high-level course in Bulawayo for all Premier League referees.

“The reason we were doing this is because we were anticipating the return of football in May, so we took our referees through the amendments of the laws of the game, the modern techniques of refereeing.

“We invest a lot of time, and money, in terms of development of these referees because we know that they are an important stakeholder.