Zim player charged for strangling ref

HARARE - Swaziland-based Zimbabwean defender Talent Maphosa grabbed the headlines last week for all the wrong reasons after he was charged for strangling an assistant referee during a Castle Premier Challenge Cup final last Saturday.

Maphosa was implicated by referee Simanga Nhleko for manhandling assistant referee Phinda Ndzimandze during the final between Swallows and Green Mamba, which the latter won 2-1.

Reports from Swaziland suggest that Maphosa was red carded in added time following the attack on the second assistant referee in protest of the winning goal scored in the 91st minute.

The Mbabane Swallows’ defender now faces nothing less than E10 000 Swazilanad lilangeni which is about $901.31.

He is also liable to suspension, if found guilty, according to the National Football Association of Swaziland Constitution as provided out in the Castle Cup Rules and Regulations in Article 8 (e).

The article reads: “Any player(s) or official(s) positively identified by the Referee of Match Commissioner or PLS Official/PLS Stadium Representative to have contravened any section of Article 8, if found guilty, shall also be liable to suspension as provided in the NFAS Constitution and any other relevant regulations.”

In comments carried by Swaziland media, PLS’ chief operations officer John Mazibuko confirmed that Maphosa had indeed been charged.

“The charges have already been done and ready to be handed over to the respective teams. However, we cannot give out the charge sheet until the teams have received them but yes, Swallows, Talent, Green Mamba and Umbelebele have all been charged,” Mazibuko said.

Maphosa’s incident comes after another bizarre episode in the central defenders’ career that saw him come to near blows with teammate midfielder Felix Badenhorst during last year’s Castle Premier Challenge Cup final against Malanti Chiefs.

The glamour giants are also home to other Zimbabwean players in Francis Nico, Alois Ngwerume and Kudzanayi Vibes Mathanda and Jim Knowledge.

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