Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THREE top referees, including Fifa referee, Pilan Ncube, were casualties at the ongoing Elite Referees’ Course being conducted by Fifa instructors Felix Tangawarima and Gregory Krzosek from Poland who is also a fitness expert.
The week-long course being held at Elangeni Training Centre in Bulawayo is a mandatory course for referees to undergo before nominations for the next batch of Fifa referees is announced.
Hardley Ndazi and Tinashe Marange also failed the fitness test, but it was Ncube’s failure that disturbed Tangawarima.
“I am personally disappointed really by Ncube’s failure to pass the fitness test. I am disturbed because this test was also to select our referees for the Fifa panel and this means he will not be on the list next year. It’s sad, really sad indeed.
“He said it was a pulled muscle that made him fail to finish on time,” said Tangawarima.
Ncube, Ndazi and Marange will also not be officiating in local games until they pass the next fitness test, which is probably next year.
Ndazi is one of the top local referees despite not being on the Fifa list and hopes were high that he would be considered for next year.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Referees’ Committee has reviewed referees’ allowances to cushion the officials against inflation.
However, the new fees are yet to come into effect because “we are yet to formally inform Zifa and the Premier Soccer League chief executive officer”, a member of the Zimbabwe Referees’ Committee said.
The new fees have nevertheless been approved by the Zifa executive committee and writing to the PSL is just a formality.
The new fees will, however, seriously strain the already tight budgets of clubs, which also have to deal with the ever increasing cost of fuel and accommodation for camping purposes.