Biased soccer referees face the music

By Farai Chikore


KAROI – CHINHOYI Stars football fans have expressed concerns over the officiating
referees, they claim are in favour of Karoi United during their recent encounter.
Chinhoyi Stars supporters claim that Victor Phiri, who was the centre referee, Billy
Cheka, first assistant referee, and second assistant referee identified as Ngwana were
allegedly bribed by the home team to influence the outcome of results.
The away team’s fans promised to attack the three match officials whenever they show
up for matches in Chinhoyi Stadium.
The Karoi United match versus Chinhoyi Stars turned violent 10 minutes from normal
time, when first assistant referee, Cheka, raised the flag to visitors, awarding a penalty
to the home team when the centre referee Phiri had advised the players to play on.
The score line by then was one all.
Cheka, who was a bit far from the play, managed to overrule Phiri’s decision, although
his colleague was closer to the play. He adjudged a Chinhoyi Stars defender of having
handled the ball in the box.
The match was stopped for more than 20 minutes, when Chinhoyi Stars were protesting
against the decision, threatening to walk out of the field.
The game continued and Karoi United managed to score the penalty and the match
ended at 2-1 in favour of the home team.
There are also allegations that the scam now involves some members within the
leadership of the referees’ committee, who assign referees on condition they get a
certain percentage of match fees.
In a post-match Press interview, the centre referee and Chinhoyi Stars board member,
Tapiwa Chitate, promised to respond through their reports they write to Zifa Northern
Region Board.
However, after the match Chinhoyi Stars were shocked to find their team bus with flat
tyres, which they assumed was the work of Karoi United team supporters.

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