Harare — THE Zifa Northern Region Division One leadership has requested the services of the Premiership referees to handle their two decisive matches at the weekend as the race reaches its climax this weekend.
Log leaders Douglas Warriors and Simba Stars are tied on the same number of points and the Warriors will be away to Blue Ribbon at Zimphos while Simba Stars host relegation-threatened Kadoma United at Wadzanai.
Yesterday, the league's secretary-general Sweeney Mushonga wrote to the Zifa Referees Committee, headed by Gladmore Muzambi, appealing for match officials who handle top-flight matches to be assigned to these two games.
"We want top referees used to handle high-profile matches, and who can handle pressure, to officiate these two matches," said Mushonga "We are also trying to stop any underhand dealings and we want the best team to win the championship race. "Any attempts to try and influence the result of the games will be dealt with according to the rules and the regulations.
And we have warned the clubs against engaging in any activities which will bring the game into disrepute."
He also revealed that the matches would start at exactly the same time. "The referees for the day will have to ensure that the matches start at the exact kick-off times and officials from the league will be at the both venues co-ordinating the two matches," said Mushonga.
"A match can be delayed due to late arrival of another team or a clash of colours but we have already warned the clubs that, no matter what happens, the matches will start at the same time. And the losing team should not believe that it's the end of the world because they will still have a chance to play in the national playoffs.
"We also hope we will come up with a tournament to keep the teams occupied," said Mushonga.
The league programme will end this weekend because the region had the smallest number of teams after six teams withdrew early in the season. Douglas Warriors lead the race by virtue of a superior goal difference. Their three-goal advantage, though, could be wiped out if Simba Stars thrash Kadoma United.
Douglas Warriors have called for Fair Play saying that the playing field should be even so that the best team can be crowned champions.