HomeSportRuzive omission exposes Zifa rot

Ruzive omission exposes Zifa rot

On December 8 2017, Ruzive Ruzive was crowned Zimbabwe’s Referee of the Year at the Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year prize-giving ceremony.

By Michael Kariati

That was the second time that the Zifa Referees Committee voted Ruzive the referee of the year, this time ahead of Nomore Musundire and ahead of Thomas Kusosa in 2016.

Ironically, the same Zifa Referees Committee that voted Ruzive Zimbabwe’s top referee have not included the “award-winning” referee on the 15-member Fifa Panel for the year 2018 that was sent to the Confederation of African Football.

The understanding is that the Fifa Panel comprises the country’s top referees. However, if the 2016 and 2017 Referee of the Year is not on that list, it shows that something is wrong somewhere.

The question is: if this Zifa Referees Committee voted Ruzive the top referee five weeks ago, what changed in such a short period that made them exclude him from the Fifa Panel?

Could it be that the 2016 and 2017 Zimbabwe Referee of the Year have refused to part with some of his $2 000 prize money to buy the support of some influential members of the Zifa Referees Committee and is now paying the price for it?

If this Fifa Panel was compiled in September 2017 as we are being told — when Ruzive was below par — how then did he manage to outdo the other referees in only one and half months to win the Referee of the Year award?

The conclusion is that there is something wrong either with the selection of the Referee of the Year, or with the compilation of the Fifa Panel, or both.

This is not surprising coming after Delta Beverages marketing director, Maxen Karombo came out guns blazing suggesting that there was need for a change in the manner in which the Referee of the Year was being selected.

Karombo suggested that he would rather have those who select the Soccer Stars, and the Coach of the Year choose the Referees of the Year, as was the case in the past, instead of the Zifa Referees Committee doing the job.

It is not often that sponsors raise such issues unless they suspect that there is something going on behind the scenes. Did Karombo sense something fishy in the whole referees selection process?

Surely, Ruzive’s selection as Referee of the Year and his subsequent omission from the Fifa Panel raises a lot of questions and Zifa should sort out this circus before it gets out of hand.

A refreshing change

The 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season is bringing a refreshing change to Zimbabwean football by thrusting on board a new crop of coaches.

Gone are the days of playing merry go round with the same coaches, that saw the likes of Moses Chunga, Luke Masomere, Kelvin Kaindu, Rahman Gumbo, and Taurayi Mangwiro rotating clubs every season as if there were no other coaches around.

The arrival of Joseph Takaringofa at Mutare City Rovers and Bekithemba Ndlovu at How Mine, and the probability of Godfrey Tamirepi taking over at ZPC Kariba, is the sort of change that Zimbabwean football has been waiting for, for years.

The system of rotating Masomere, Chunga, Gumbo, Kaindu, and Mangwiro was becoming monotonous and the latest developments show that at least Zimbabwean football is moving somewhere.

The coaching change, however, should not be confined only to club football but also to the national team. The habit of today having Chidzambwa and tomorrow apponting Norman Mapeza, and then back to Chidzambwa does not show seriousness.

When will the others get their chance?

l For your views, comments, and suggestions email mkariati@gmail.com or WhatsApp on 077 4 635 723.

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