Two weeks into the new Super League season, some coaches have already started complaining about officiation.
Azam Tigers controversial coach Leo Mpulula and Silver Strikers assistant coach Hellings Mwakasungula have said officiation still leaves a lot to be desired.
Mpulula, whose team won against Mponela United 1-0 on Saturday, hit out at the referees, saying they are in urgent need of refresher courses.
“With due respect, the local referees instructors that we have are not capable of imparting the required knowledge to our referees.
“There is need for FAM, Sulom and the national referees body to consider arranging refresher courses that should be conducted by highly trained instructors from either Fifa or CAF. Otherwise, the standard of officiation will not improve and we’ll keep on complaining.
“The problem we have is that the only area of concentration during courses is Cooper Test and very little is done on theory. We hail our referees for completing Cooper tests by running around the pitch five times, but there is more to refereeing than that,” said Mpulula.
He claimed that the bulk of local referees sympathise with some teams.
“How do you expect referees to handle games professionally when they have a soft spot for some teams?” he said.
On his part, Mwakasungula blamed officiation for his team Silver’s barren draw against Kamuzu Barracks in Dedza on Sunday.
“Officiation was not fair and that contributed to our failure to win the game,” said Mwakasungula.
However, the National Football Referees Committee (NFRC) challenged the coaches to state the areas in which the referees are failing.
NFRC general secretary Chris Kalichelo said: “I am not trying to defend referees, but coaches and indeed others should justify the criticisms levelled against referees.
“If referees are failing, then they should come out and state the particular areas which need to be looked into other than criticising for the sake of it.”
He said one of the reasons coaches are putting the blame on referees is pressure.