Referees in no show- Warriors Chipolopolo tie rescheduled
Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor ZIMBABWE’S Warriors and Zambia’s Chipolopolo would have to wait another week before they square off again after the African Nations Championships failed to kick off at Rufaro yesterday following a no show by the Cameroon match officials assigned to handle the encounter.In a development that shamed the continental game and exposed the Confederation of African Football’s double standards, Cameroon referee Aurelien Juenkou and his assistants Fuanta Joseph Lambi, Elvis Noupue and Christopher Nde failed to show up in Harare yesterday forcing the cancellation of the game. The CHAN final qualifier first leg will now be staged at the same venue on August 18. A shadow had been cast on the game with Zifa last week protesting Caf’s decision to abandon their tradition of appointing match officials from within the zones for the CHAN qualifiers and assign referees from far away Cameroon.
South African Match Commissioner Ian McLeod was left with no choice but to eventually call off the tie after alternative efforts to secure Fifa accredited replacement referees failed to yield fruit. The Cameroon referees had initially been expected to arrive at 10 am on Saturday and when they indicated that they had missed their flight from Nairobi to Harare, there had been indications that they would now arrive yesterday, albeit in the afternoon.
That development then prompted McLeod in consultation with both Zifa and the Football Association of Zambia officials to reschedule the kick-off time and delay it by one and half hours and the game had now been pencilled in to start at 4.30pm. But when it became apparent that the referees would not be in Harare on time, McLeod convened an emergency meeting at a Harare hotel which was attended by top officials from both Zifa and FAZ.
Zifa board member competitions Benedict Moyo, the association’s chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, Obert Mamvura of the Zifa referees desk represented the host association while FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya and FAZ executive committee member Jeff Chipilingu stood in for the visitors. Bwayalya had arrived for the game shortly after midday yesterday.
McLeod was also in touch with Caf’s CHAN competition director Amr Fahmy and the continental body’s general secretary Hicham El Amrani on the proceedings of the meeting.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Herald