A PLOT to destabilise the domestic Premiership, and the regional Division One leagues, using some referees who are expected to trigger chaos, with questionable decisions, has been exposed.
This is part of a masterplan to ensure that all forms of football come to a standstill in the country and the sponsors, backing the leagues, terminate their partnership.
The activity in the top-flight and second-tier leagues is angering some officials, especially within the refereeing fraternity, who are aligned to the suspended ZIFA board.
These officials believe their future in the game, especially in their current leadership positions, is at stake as long as the ZIFA board, led by Felton Kamambo, remains suspended.
Many of them believe they are now sitting ducks, especially given that the local refereeing fraternity has always been split along factional lines, and they feel very vulnerable right now.
“Remember the chaos we saw during that week, when the ZIFA board was suspended in November last year, and a number of referees were ordered not to officiate in matches even when they had already done their warm-ups?” sources said.
“What that incident showed is that some of the ZIFA Referees Committee bosses have an allegiance to the suspended board members because they were put into their roles by the suspended executive committee members.
“It has always been the trend that once a new ZIFA executive committee takes over, the referees committee bosses also change and, in a way, this means that those who will be leading the referees owe their positions to the national executive in charge of the game.
“Right now, we have Mr (Obert) Zhoya, he is the number two in the ZIFA Referees Committee and he is still calling the shots there, despite all the things which have been said about him, concerning the allegations by some of the female referees.
“Recently, he even sent a text on our social media group talking about women referees who wanted to be involved in a test, and that shows he is still calling the shots and he is clearly aligned to the suspended executive.
“Now, we are seeing all these questionable appointments of referees and you think it’s all a coincidence, of course, it’s not, it’s part of a plan and they want to see these referees coming up with wild decisions, which will result in chaos at the matches.
“The whole plan is to try and make the sponsors, especially in the PSL and the Division One in the Northern Region, which are sponsored, to withdraw their sponsorship, because of the chaos, so that football in those leagues grind to a halt.
“This arrangement, where the local leagues are being played, according to them, is giving the impression that everything is normal in Zimbabwean football, without the participation of the suspended executive committee members, and this is the picture they don’t want to see.
“The Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders bosses were suspended by the same suspended executive and this is a way of fighting back at them.”
There was chaos at Barbourfields on Saturday, forcing a 15-minute stoppage, after Bulawayo Chiefs were awarded a penalty in the second half.
Missiles rained on the pitch while a fan, who invaded the field, was arrested.
“The referee in charge of that game was Hardley Ndazi and it’s not a coincidence he was handed that match,” said the sources.
“Check his history against Dynamos, from the time when Kenny Mubaiwa was still chairman at the club, and you will have an interesting story.
“He was also the referee, in July 2018, when he gave Bulawayo Chiefs three penalties, in the second half, in their match against Bulawayo City at Luveve, which Chiefs won 4-1.”
Amin Soma-Phiri, who was the City coach back then, said:
“This is a case where a referee can be an extra arm in a game of football. He seemed to favour one team when he should have been protecting both teams.
“To be given three penalties is something else.”
Bosso also had a penalty awarded against them, which was missed, in their goalless draw against Tenax at Sakubva.