Chiyangwa fumes at Egyptian 'robbery'

YAOUNDE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa was left fuming after brave Mighty Warriors were robbed of a point following a howler by Burundi referee — Suavis Iratunga who had a nightmarish match — that incorrectly cancelled Zimbabwe’s equaliser during the Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) group tie against Egypt on Tuesday evening.

The Mighty Warriors are now staring down the barrel and could be eliminated if results do not go their way in their final group game.

In the aftermath of Iratunga’s decision which has triggered an outpouring of anger from the football mad Zimbabweans, Chiyangwa yesterday penned a missive to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) seeking to have the continental football governing body take disciplinary measures against the referee.

‘The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to register our official complaint over the conduct of Burundi referee Sauvis Iratunga in the Group A match between Zimbabwe and Egypt at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations,” said Chiyangwa in his letter to Caf.

“We believe the referee made a number of biased decisions against Zimbabwe and in particular her decision in the 84th minute to disallow for offside the goal by Zimbabwe player Felistas Muzongondi.

“That denied goal resulted in Zimbabwe losing a game which they could have come out with at least a point as it would have  made the a score 1-1.

“We believe that your esteemed office has a way to review the performances of match officials and conduct of teams and kindly ask that you do the same with the match official in the above mentioned game.

“We trust that while the result of the game may not be altered, justice will be seen to be done as the decision of the referee affected the qualification chances of our team in Group A,” added Chiyangwa.

Caf recently suspended Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for three months, after he awarded a controversial penalty to South Africa in a World Cup qualifier against Senegal earlier this month following a complaint by Senegal Football Association.

Television replays showed that there was no handball.

Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi has also launched a scathing attack on Iratunga for denying his charges a deserved point with a howler of a decision that left Zimbabwe on the brink of an early exit

The Egyptians had surged ahead in the 83rd minute through Samya Adam but the Mighty Warriors thought they had equalised moments later after substitute Felistus Muzongondi, who replaced the injured Talent Mandaza struck home from a blind side.

But their celebrations were short-lived after Iratunga who appeared overwhelmed by the occasion right from the start judging by her questionable decisions disallowed the goal in unclear circumstances.

This is despite the fact that Iratunga had first correctly indicated that it was a goal before she made a shocking U-turn after she had consulted with her assistant referee who couldn’t absorb relentless protests by the Egyptian officials and players.

The result left Zimbabwe on the brink as they now face a mammoth task of beating hosts Cameroon tomorrow, who have already sealed their passage to the semi-finals following their back-to-back wins against Egypt and South Africa.

Cameroon lead Group A standings with six points from two matches, while Egypt have undeserved three points they benefitted from that diabolic officiating.

Zimbabwe and South Africa who played a goalless draw in their opening match have a point each.  he Mighty Warriors are praying that South Africa beat Egypt by at least 1-0 in their last match while they score at least more than two goals against Cameroon whilst maintain a clean sheet.

But while Mlauzi accepted the fact that they couldn’t bury their chances, he was livid at how Burundi referee denied his team that legitimate goal.

“The match official seems to have a hand in the result. Every slightest assimilation became a foul and it frustrated our players,” Mlauzi said.

“Again on the equaliser, first the match official indicated it was a goal and then decides against it. We didn’t see any infringement on the goalkeeper or offside on the goal scorer.

“It is those kinds of decisions that keeps African football stagnant where certain teams go into matches and because they are from North Africa they are supposed to win games. It really becomes very worrying for us.”

The Mighty Warriors had only but themselves to blame though for getting themselves in this difficult situation having dominated from the onset but failed to bury their chances.

Apart from that ludicrous decision by the referee, Mlauzi’s charges had created the best chances with outstanding Rutendo Makore, Kudakwashe Basopo and Mavis Chirandu all coming close but were let down by indecision in crucial stages.

And highlighting on his team’s overall performance, Mlauzi felt disappointed by the result especially after dominating their opponents. 

“It was a disappointing game and disappointing result. I thought we suffered mental blocks,” Mlauzi said.

“We were up against a team that was resilient and tactically structured to some extent. We had our moments to break them down but our finishing was not clinical. In the end it kept the game even and it became more difficult for us.

“The more the game progressed the more they grew in confidence and we became frustrated.

Mlauzi felt his charges had done well to execute their game plan but became frustrated after failing to hit the back of the net.

“We should have done better. We played the way we have wanted but at certain times the players lost loyalty with style of play and became desperate to the extent that our attacks were easily broken,” said Mlauzi.

The Mighty Warriors will face Cameroon tomorrow hoping to produce a shocker that could take them to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Comments (2)

shit happens gentlemen

shaolin kung fu master - 24 November 2016

haiwa. that Egypt was later thrashed by RSA 5-0! kungochema nhema. Zim was again thrashed by Cameroun. useless warriors..not mighty at all

jendktuva - 28 November 2016

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