Alimenda a 'barbaric sexist'

HARARE - Dynamos midfielder Stephen Alimenda has been labelled a ‘barbaric sexist’ by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Disciplinary Committee after he verbally abused and assaulted Tsholotsho’s female medic Sibusisiwe Mthunzi.

The incident happened last month during a league match at Rufaro Stadium which ended 0-0.

Mthunzi sustained a bruised cheek following the incident but the match officials connived to sweep the incident under the carpet.

The PSL Disciplinary Committee, however, took retrospective action and banned Alimenda for three matches starting with tomorrow’s clash away to Hwange.

The midfielder was also made to pay a fine of $2 500 fine of which $500 was suspended on the condition he does not repeat a similar offence for the rest of the season.

The committee comprising of lawyers Vusi Vuma (chairman) and Doreen Gapare together with former referee Brighton Mudzamiri also slammed the DeMbare midfielder for his prejudices against women if football.

“In arriving at the appropriate sentence we have taken into account the fact that complainant (Mthunzi) is an innocent and defenceless woman who was carrying out her duty,” read the judgment.

“Such barbaric behaviour cannot be condoned by any right thinking person. She is one of the few women who have strived to excel in a male-dominated sector and we have people like Stephen (Alimenda) exhibiting stereotype primitive behaviour.

“There is need to encourage other women into football administration and such conduct does not inspire confidence at all.”

According to the committee, Alimenda as a senior player, who has played for such clubs like Lancashire Steel, Highlanders and Hardbody in the top flight, should have acted in an appropriate manner.

“The accused is a very senior player who has been playing football for a very long time and is expected to exhibit a high standard of behaviour so that young players look up to him for guidance.”

What is more damaging for Alimenda is the fact he did not show any remorse during the hearings last month and on several occasions had to be reminded by the committee to show more respect to women.

“During the course of proceedings the accused did not show any remorse for his actions, instead he tended to ridicule the complainant and was on several occasions warned by the committee to show respect not only to the complainant but to the committee as well,” said the committee.

“There is need therefore to send a very strong message to such minded people. We have said it before, that violence must be nipped in the bud and we will just do that.”

Alimenda was also labelled a liar after he had tried to hoodwink the Disciplinary Committee.

“The evidence against the accused was so overwhelming. At first he denied that the medic knew him but after other players’ evidence, he provided comic relief, alleging the medic was once his girlfriend and she just wanted to fix him,” read the judgment.

The ruling is likely to tarnish Alimenda’s image considering these are no flimsy allegations and they come at a time when there are growing calls to encourage women participation in football the world-over.

In 2011, British broadcaster Sky Sports sacked commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys for marking sexist remarks against female assistant referee Sian Massey.

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