THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League have faith in the local crop of referees and will not rope in foreign referees for the potentially championship deciding match between Dynamos and Highlanders set for Rufaro Stadium in three weeks time.
The two giants are separated by two points with the Glamour Boys on top at 58 points while Tshilamoya are sitting on 56 points, setting the stage for a bruising end-of-season finale. Third-placed Monomotapa are a distant 12 points away from Highlanders.
Faced with such a scenario, talk within the corridors of soccer was that the PSL should bring in foreign referees to avoid complaints of biased officiating from local officials during the Battle of Zimbabwe Part Two. Part One which was played at Barbourfields Stadium on 22 July, ended 1-1 through goals from Takesure Chinyama for Dynamos and Milton Ncube for Highlanders.
The match was well handled by Victoria Falls-based referee, young Hardly Ndazi and perhaps it is because of that performance by Ndazi that the league fathers saw wisdom in having a local referee handle Part Two.
"We have total confidence in our referees and therefore we see no reason why we should bring in foreign referees for the Dynamos/Highlanders match," said PSL board member competitions, Tawengwa Hara.
Last year Zifa brought in Zambian and South African referees for the then $1 million Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-finals and final matches after a string of questionable and poor match officiating by local referees that was capped by the infamous Centralgate scandal.
The scandal resulted in Southern Region boss Gift Banda his Central Region counterpart, Patrick Hokonya, Zimbabwe Referees Committee boss Samukeliso Silengane and match commissioner Cosmas Nyoni being suspended on allegations of match-fixing.
Hara, however, said they had no definite position on Mbada Cup games as the sponsor might come up with a different position.
"I am not sure about Mbada games though. They might use our local referees or follow the same route they used last year depending on what is comfortable to them," said Hara.
After Dynamos, Highlanders will play host to Buffaloes, the first team to deny them three points this season after a 1-1 draw at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare where a Beavan Chikaka late equaliser levelled matters. Bosso will thereafter travel to Gweru to face relegation-haunted Hardbody.
After that they will entertain FC Platinum and then wrap their season up with an away fixture to another relegation-threatened side, Blue Rangers.
Reigning champions Dynamos will face Black Mambas, Monomotapa and Buffaloes at Rufaro Stadium before ending the season in the Midlands, against Hardbody at Ascot Stadium.
According to the league management, all these games will be played on the same day and time
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