19 September 2017

Zambia/Madagascar: FAZ Complains Against Zim Ref's Biased Handling of Match

Zambia's emphatic 7-1 bashing of Madagascar at the ongoing regional COSAFA Women Championship did not stop them from lodging an official complaint against Zimbabwean match referee for biased officiating.

Delegation Leader Janet Bwalya confirmed that the FAZ had written to COSAFA to complain of Zimbabwe referee Rusina Majo.

As Zambia was playing Madagascar, hosts and defending champions Zimbabwe was seeing in horror as the game had potential to knock them out of the tournament.

Bwalya said it was odd to have a Zimbabwean referee handle a game involving Zambia who were in same group with the hosts with both fighting to make it out to the semi-finals.

"It was improper for a Zimbabwean referee to officiate our game and then she was biased. She denied Zambia three clear penalties despite the assistant referee lifting the flag," Bwalya protested.

Two of the penalties Zambia was denied involved Barbara Banda who was brought down inside the box by Madagascar defender Rina Raharimalala.

Otherwise, Bwalya was happy with the tournament despite fans not turning up at the stadium if the host was not playing before calling on the Shepolopolo to rise to the occasion and lift the COSAFA title for the first time.

"I hope they beat South Africa (in the semi-final on Thursday), they need to emulate the boys under-20 and under-17 teams and lift the cup, it will be good for women football in Zambia," She said.

And Shepolopolo coach Albert Kachinga has predicted a tough semi-final clash against regional powerhouse South Africa.

Zambia, who qualified as Group-A winners will on Thursday face nemesis Banyana Banyana, who won Group-C, in a tough encounter for Zambia.

"We shall plan for them well. South Africa is tactically good and they will throw everything at us but we will be equal to the task," Kachinga said.

He said Zambia will have an upper hand having faced tougher opposition compared to South Africa who played Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana.

"I think we are tried and tested going into the game as he had tougher games against Malawi and Zimbabwe. For them, I don't think there is much to talk about their opponents.

"We have never won the COSAFA title. Maybe we can lift it now, we just need to be focused, keep the concentration, be persuasive, maintain discipline and most importantly, the girls should have the desire to get it," Kachinga said.

And team captain Noria Sosala said though South Africa was a good side, Zambia will not overrate them going into the match.

"The morale in camp up is very high. We want is to lift the cup. We have seen that South Africa's defence is not that strong and we have a sharp striking force," she said.

Meanwhile goal keeper Hazel Nali said the secret to getting passed South Africa by the team keeping a clean sheet.

"We just need to work together and communicate with the defence to avoid conceding, South Africa look dangerous but our focus is to make it to the finals," she said.

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