Ref hogs the limelight in Herentals, City draw

Herentals………………………… 0
Harare City…………………….… 0

NATIONAL SPORTS STADIUM - Midlands referee Munyaradzi Majoni hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons during yesterday’s Castle Lager Premiership goalless draw here between Herentals and Harare City with poor officiating that almost turned the tie into complete chaos.

Majoni was appalling and inconsistent throughout the match with some shocking decisions that left those who had paid to watch the game surprised.

In truth, the referee from the Midlands was never in full control and on the 73rd minute things turned ugly after Majoni allowed play to continue despite a bad challenge on Harare City player Tatanda Tumba by Herentals’ Richard Hachiro.

Tumba, however, took matters into his own hands as he retaliated by manhandling Hachiro, leading to a near exchange of blows from the two team’s officials who were not pleased by both incidents which happened in the full view of the referee.

And after the match Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva concurred that the referee was not consistent in his officiating. 

“…It was caused by the referee. I thought he was going to give out a red card because the Harare City player retaliated and normally in football it warrants expulsion,” Mutiwekuziva said.

“I think the referee missed it in terms of handling the match but actually these are things that can be found in football.”

Apart from that, Mutiwekuziva was pleased with his team’s performance after keeping their opponents on the back foot for larger parts of the game.  

“It was a fair result although we were on top of the situation in most cases. Unfortunately we couldn’t convert chances that came our way particularly in the early stages of the game. They had their chances that came their way but we resisted very well,” he added.

“I think for my boys it was encouraging considering we were coming from last weekend’s defeat at Chapungu. It’s work in progress and it looks like we are in the right direction.

Harare City coach Mark Harrison could not hide his disappointment on “poor” officiating by Majoni.

“I thought our performance was terrible but their performance passed ours. They were unbelievably shocking,” Harrison said.

“I don’t want to get into trouble with the PSL but at the end of the day something has to be done. You can’t go through 90 minutes like that, that was shocking. You can make so many bad decisions. One of our players almost got one of his legs broken and he got booked, I don’t get it. 

“But if we want football in Zimbabwe to improve as much as we want the players and coaches to improve then the referees need to improve as well.” 

On his team’s performance, Harrison said it was one of their worst days in office thus far.

“I’m not satisfied at all with how the boys played today. I think it’s probably our poorest performance this season. I don’t think from the first whistle to the last we competed, we didn’t compete for the first ball well enough, we didn’t compete for the second ball well enough.

“When we had the ball we never passed it, we never kept it. I thought for the 90 minutes we were poor.”

Herentals were the better of the teams but their strikers failed to score chances that came their way while at times found City goalkeeper Ryan Harrison at his best before settling for a share of spoils.

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