The Referees Boss Mr Aziph Banda was on Saturday afternoon seen at Railway Ground and President Stadium to snap check the time Match Officials report for games and monitor their officiating competencies on the field of play.
This follows complaints filed by several Super League teams on the tendencies of match officials reporting late for matches.
At Railway Stadium, he almost sent back home a Referee from mufulira who arrived at 14:30hrs. The Referees Manager was in a no nonsense mood and warned to would be offender that they will be sidelines for matches if they keep reporting late for games.
When asked by the media team why he decided to make a surprise visit to the stadium, Mr Banda stated that his job is not only to seat in the office but to monitor the performance of the Match Officials he is serving. He indicated that such visits will be made across the country at different selected stadiums.
While at President Stadium, the Referees Manager only found one Match Official by 14:08hrs a situation which he described unacceptable.
As he walked in the ground, the team officials for Prison Leopard and Young Green Eagles were seen Cheering, chanting and appreciating the presence of the Referees Boss., “emutima mwebafyashi tufwaya, mulemona efyo balelisha bola ba Referee” to mean, “this is the parental heart we want, so that you are able to see how your Referees officiate games”.
In his tenure, the country has witnessed progressive reforms among them includes the introduction of Match commissioners at National Division one league, increased number of new Match commissioners and Match Assessors.
The match officials have benefited a shared cake with regard to match appointments and capacity building programs across the country. It’s gratifying to note that the football fraternity has also witnessed greater improvement in the levels of officiating and reduced complaints from soccer fans and team officials.
The game played between Prison Leopard and Young Green Eagles ended in a draw 0-0 while kabwe Warriors recorded a 2-0 win over Lumwana Radiants.