ZIFA referees withdraw from officiating Black Rhinos matches citing safety issues

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By Sport Reporter

ZIFA Referees Committee has resolved not to officiate any Northern Region Division One league match involving former Premier Soccer League side Black Rhinos.

This comes after one of their members Pride Benhura was attacked by the Black Rhinos technical team during a match between the former and CC Lee Mhangura on the 16th of June at Mhangura stadium.

Benhura was attacked after awarding a penalty to Mhangura, a move which saw the visitors attacking him as they felt it didn’t deserve to be one.

“We are hereby informing you that the Referees Committee has decided to withdraw their services from all matches involving Black Rhinos Football Club, this decision applies to both home and away matches,” reads the letter written by ZIFA to the Northern Region Division One league administration.

Referees’ safety has been an issue in Zimbabwe, in April a Premier Soccer League match between FC Platinum and CAPS United was abandoned after fans had invaded the pitch in protest of the referee’s decision, such was the case again when Chegutu Pirates hosted Dynamos very same month.

The Referees Committee has since issued an ultimatum to the Northern Region Division One administrators if they are to officiate any game involving Black Rhinos.

“To ensure the safety of match officials, we insist that concrete steps be taken, before, during and after matches involving Black Rhinos.

“Until such measures are implemented, the withdrawal of referee services will remain in effect,” further reads the letter.