Cardless referee slapped with 3-week suspension

The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter

ZIFA Southern Region Referees’ Committee has slapped former Premier Soccer League referee, Bekithemba Moyo, with a three-week suspension for officiating a First Division game without caution cards.

The committee also handed similar sentences to Moyo’s assistant referees, Prince Khumalo and Royce Mhidzi as well as match commissioner Cephas Chokuda in the tension-filled Southern Region Division One League match between Indlovu Iyanyathela and Bulawayo City which the municipal side won 1-0 by through a hotly contested penalty.

Moyo spoiled the clash, as career-threatening tackles flew from all directions in the first half once players realised that the referee had no cards.

He was demoted from the elite PSL referees panel for constant poor performances.

A source told Chronicle Sport that the Southern Region Referees’ Committee communicated its decision to the Zifa Referees’ Committee on Monday and the quartet of Moyo, Chokuda, Khumalo and Mhidzi were expected to receive their suspension letters yesterday.

“They were all found guilty of bringing the game of football into disrepute and suspended for three weeks. The Zifa Referees’ Committee is expected to endorse the suspensions. One funny thing is that one of the assistant referees said he had (caution) cards, but didn’t give Moyo because the centre man didn’t inform him he didn’t have any. You can talk to the head of the Zifa Southern Region Referees’ Committee, John Mutero, who should be able to give you details of the matter,” said the source.

Mutero, whose committee met the Southern Region board last month after a number of clubs raised complaints over the behaviour of some referees for allegedly openly threatening teams, while others have been pestering clubs through incessant phone calls over referees’ top up fees, could not be reached for comment.

Zifa Southern Region administrator Augustine Ndlovu said they are awaiting the referees’ committee to furnish them with the judgment.

“We heard that they’ve met, but we’re yet to be given the official outcome,” said Ndlovu.

— @ZililoR