Some Super League teams have condemned referees over what they term as poor officiation, with Silver Strikers assistant coach Lovemore Fazili arguing that some of them cannot even “handle a primary school match”.
However, the National Football Referees Committee (NFRC) has hit back by accusing some coaches and players of lacking knowledge on the rules of the game, hence the misunderstandings.
Speaking after third-placed Silver Strikers were held to a 2-2 draw by Kamuzu Barracks, Fazili blamed “poor levels of officiation” for their failure to win the league this season.
“The referees have been poor. If this was not the case, we could have been competing for the title with league leaders Bullets,” he said.
“In the match against Kamuzu Barracks, there were some wrong decisions which went against us; otherwise, we could have won this game.”
Meanwhile, Azam Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika has described officiation this season as awful while calling on the referees to improve.
He said: “The referees have been disappointing, but I know people will think that because we are losing a lot of games, we are just trying to find an excuse.”
He claimed that the referee denied them a clear penalty in their 3-1 loss to Blue Eagles on Sunday.
Mafco were also infuriated by referee Warneck Mlenga in their 2-1 loss to Wanderers on Saturday after the nomads scored the equalising goal while their defender Yohane Malunga lay injured in the box.
The soldiers’ players and officials protested, with no let-up, for about nine minutes. In a seemingly show of defiance, Mafco coach Thomas Maloya refused to grant reporters post-match interview, saying: “You should interview the referee.”
In the meantime, Fisd Wizards technical director Peter Mponda has said the referees have been disappointing when making offside calls.
“Some of the offside decisions I have seen are wrong; otherwise, I feel that the referees have been fair this season. I can rate them eight out of 10,” he said.
Responding to the complaints, NFRC secretary general Chris Kalichero said they have received several complaints over referees’ performances. He admitted that the referees have been making mistakes some times.
“The referees are human beings, so they can’t be 100 percent perfect. However, I would say their performance is 70 percent above. This is not bad,” he said.