The Zimbabwe Football Association has raised concern over the delay in the payment of referees officiating the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches.
ZIFA Referees Committee vice chairman Ruzive Ruzive said the delay in the payment of referees is hampering efforts to improve officiating in the top flight league.
Speaking on Star FM’s prime sports show the Daily Sports Zone on Wednesday night, Ruzive urged the Premier Soccer League to prioritize the welfare of referees to avoid cases of bribery.
“While we are making efforts to improve the officiating, it is sad to note that the referees are not being paid on time. There is a backlog of referees not being paid,” Ruzive said.
“As I was coming here for the show, one senior referee called me telling that he hasn’t been paid for the last nine matches. This is a cause for concern because how do you expert the referees to serve the game when they are not being paid for their services.”
“We urge the Premier Soccer League and the clubs to look into this matter as an issue of priority. We have zero tolerance on corruption but such issues leaves referees vulnerable to bribery from some unethical club officials even though we have our ears on the ground to weed out such cases. We still want faireness on the field of play.”
Ruzive also highlighted that the ZIFA Referees Committee is in the process of trimming the size of the elite referees panel so that they are left with competent officials who will help to improve the game.
“We now have 63 referees left on the elite panel after 12 failed fitness tests and the others didn’t pitch up for the refresher courses that we held. We still want to reduce the number to 46 so that we have the best practices. We have been noting some improvements since we started having regular refresher courses and we want to continue improving the officiating.”
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