Friday, 29 April 2022

FOOTBALL REFEREES : WE HAVE NOT BEEN PAID FOR MONTHS

LOCAL referees have not been paid for months, a situation that has been blamed for poor standards of officiating seen at some Premier Soccer League games, B-Metro Sport has been briefed.

Traditionally, clubs are responsible for paying referees, but recently the PSL instructed teams to stop paying match officials directly.

The money is now handed over to the PSL, who in turn are supposed to disburse the funds to match officials.

But two match officials painted a gloomy picture at the state of affairs they find themselves in.

“The PSL owes us a lot of money for games that we officiated dating back months ago.

“We have no idea when the money will be released but what is disheartening is that the local currency is fast losing value and the money will be worth less when we do finally get paid,” said a referee speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another referee said they were forced to use their own resources to travel for matches, sometimes as far as Kariba.

Former referee Ruzive Ruzive weighed in saying non-payment of match officials is contributing to the declining standards of officiating.

Ruzive said referees were owed money from the matches they officiated during the Chibuku Super Cup last year.

“Referees are owed money from last year when football was played during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic when we were still doing Chibuku Super Cup matches,” Ruzive said.

“The referees are not being paid, so how do you expect to have results from somebody who is not being paid but are supposed to be training,” quizzed Ruzive, who is now a match assessor.

He queried how match officials were expected to be on top of their game when they did not even receive transport money for travel for games.

Ruzive said the PSL stopped clubs from paying referees directly and mandated them to channel the payments through the PSL secretariat but since last year, the money had not been remitted to the referees.

“When you go, say to ZPC Kariba, and you come back without even your transport money, how do you expect the referee to feel?”

The PSL in a statement released on Tuesday partly blamed the referees for the hooliganism at Mandava Stadium which caused the abandonment of the clash between FC Platinum and after a section of Highlanders fans invaded the pitch protesting against a penalty decision awarded to the hosts.

PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare was not available for comment. B Metro

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