Coaches’ Body Blasts PSL
THE Zimbabwe Soccer Coaches Association (ZISCA) has come out guns blazing in defence of its members over what it called unfair treatment by the Premier Soccer League for imposing financial sanctions on coaches that criticise referees.
The association said it will seek a meeting with the PSL to try and reach a consensus, especially considering that football is a pressure game and emotions usually run high. Zisca also questioned the authenticity of the so-called reckless statements by the coaches, saying this could be challenged in a court of law.
The PSL slapped Mutare City Rovers coach Joseph Takaringofa and his Shabanie Mine counterpart Takesure Chiragwi with $1 150 fines for allegedly issuing reckless statements in the media implying bias by referees after their sides’ encounters against FC Platinum and Yadah respectively.
Zisca secretary-general Oscar Mazhambe said they were disturbed by the intimidation of their members and called on the PSL governors to look into this issue as a matter of urgency.
“We are really disturbed by this targeting of our members which we take as trampling on their rights to express themselves. Freedom of expression must be allowed. We are not condoning bad behaviour, but to rely on mere media reports without any proof is not right. If officiating is poor, a coach must be allowed to say so. What the PSL is doing is suppressing that right. In the long run, coaches will refuse to comment because they won’t know which words are to be said or not. I doubt if the PSL can win this case in a court of law,” fumed Mazhambe.
“Our members are being crucified here and we can’t allow it to continue. Football is a pressure game and that needs to be understood. Journalists can misquote you or even fail to appreciate that some things are said in the heat of the moment, but to then slap a coach with such a huge fine is rather unfortunate and it must stop,” he said.
A coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity, suggested that it would be better to actually vent their anger at match officials during a match and get expelled because the fine for that is only $250 than to point out referees’ poor performances after the match and get slapped with a $1 150 fine.
“This whole thing is rather funny, to say the least. For actually lashing out at the referee during a match, which has all the proof, you get a fine of $250 and when we decide to respect them, but simply express our disappointment at the way they handled the game in the post-match media talk we get fined such a figure, where is the logic in all this?” asked the coach.
They demanded that at least hearings be held before any fine is imposed on coaches without even verifying if what the media reported is accurate.