Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Congo Brazzaville
DESPITE managing to pull a draw in very volatile conditions, FC Platinum will today make an official complaint to the Confederation of African Football about how their game against AS Otoho held on Sunday was handled by Togolese referee Nokou Ntale.
Norman Mapeza's gallant warriors put up a top drawer show at the Stade Marien Ngouab that saw them come from a goal down to level matters in the early stages of the second half during a match which they were heavily undone by the embarrassing show from the Togolese national.
Despite awarding an incredible 16 free-kicks inside 20 minutes to the hosts, Ntale denied the Zimbabwean champions a clear penalty when Gift Mbweti was hacked down inside the box as he was going for the kill.
The goal which the Congolese scored was also after two FC Platinum players, Gift Bello and goalkeeper Petros Mhari, were impident upon.
"The result was okay for us of course but we will be making an official complaint to Caf through our national association, ZIFA, because the match was not handled properly by those guys from Togo, it's bad for football and certainly does not do good to African football," said FC Platinum general manager, Joseph Mususa, himself an award winning referee during his time.
As it became clear to the visitors that they were facing a difficult time during the match, Mususa, as per rules and regulations, penned an official letter of complaint so that they play under protest.
"Our captain Mhari was suppose to hand the letter to the referee but he was sitting on a yellow card at the time of our writing the letter meaning he could not have come out lest he got another yellow card and consequently expulsion from the match so when the game ended we tried to hand over the letter to the referee who strangely refused to accept it. So basically we have a cocktail of complaints against the referee, respective that we are content with the result," said Mususa.
There was also a tense finish to the duel as the Congolese sought to find a last minute winner like they did against Angolan giants Agosto. Five minutes of injury time was added as the barrage of attacks from the home side continued coming and when the stipulated time lapsed the match went on for another six minutes much to the anger of Mapeza.
The two sides clash in the return leg at Mandava Stadium on Saturday with the winner going through to the group stages of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Pure Platinum touched down at the Robert Mugabe International Airport this morning having left Brazzaville last night going via Kigali, Rwanda, and Lusaka, Zambia.