Esteemed FIFA technical instructor Felix Tangawarima from Zimbabwe and Bento Navasee, a FIFA physical instructor from Mozambique, are facilitating a member association referees’ course that started in Harare on Tuesday.

Ten female and 25 male referees from across Zimbabwe are taking part, including 14 who are on the FIFA international panel.

“This course is shaping up to be a game-changer. The match officials will be delving into both theory and practicals, ensuring they are primed for the fast-changing world of football.

“Ten female and 25 male referees from across Zimbabwe are taking part, including 14 on the FIFA international panel,” said ZIFA, in a statement.

The course comes at a time when some referees’ decisions have been heavily questioned so early into the 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.

In the past weekend, Bikita Minerals head coach Saul Chaminuka had no kind words for match officials who handled their match against Arenel Movers at Luveve.

Chaminuka felt they were robbed of a genuine goal.

“I think players should be let to play the games and decisions are made on the field of play. We scored a very good goal but I don’t know why someone decides against it. It is such decisions that end up deciding games and I’m not happy, I don’t want to lie.

“Sanction or not, I don’t care, we can’t have this kind of football. That goal was the turning point of this game. It’s difficult to talk about team performance because, like I said, decisions, they decide games.

“We had our mistakes, and we also had the game on our side and that’s football but I think games must be decided on the pitch by players, not otherwise.

“We must compete on the pitch, we are into this sport to compete. We spend a lot of time working on these guys and when they do right, they are supposed to be credited for doing right,” said Chaminuka.

The goal that Chaminuka referred to came soon after the start of the second half in the 48th minute when Chris Makambira headed home from close range but was adjudged to have committed a foul on an Arenel player.

At that time, the game was tied at 1-1 before Arenel Movers went on to reclaim the lead minutes later.

CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe was also left fuming when their striker Ralph Kawondera found the back of the net with a spectacular curling effort in the 86th minute in their recent match against FC Platinum but the Green Machine’s celebrations were cut short after assistant referee Mncedisi Maphosa raised his flag to signal off-side.

It was a difficult call to make and as centre referee, Gweru-based Lloyd Mapanje, went over to the assistant to consult, it was at this stage that CAPS United fans invaded the pitch, resulting in a 20-minute stoppage.

Makepekepe were trailing FC Platinum 0-1 at the time the match was called off after Juan Mutudza had struck first for the hosts in the first half.

Dynamos gaffer Genesis Mangombe and Chicken Inn mentor Joey Antipas also openly registered their displeasure on how referees handled their Week Five games against Bulawayo Chiefs and Manica Diamonds respectively.

Meanwhile, ZIFA have said they have taken note of the dissemination of false information concerning the induction of FIFA coaching courses.

“We wish to clarify that the association is not involved in these courses at present. Furthermore, there are no on-going courses currently, but the Association will organise them in due time.

“It is crucial to emphasise to the public that impersonating football officials is a criminal offense, as is the spreading of such misleading and alarmist statements through social media platforms.

“All communication regarding FIFA Courses will be strictly conducted through our official channels. We urge the public to disregard any statements not issued through official ZIFA channels,” said ZIFA.

The Herald