Tanzania: Asfc - Frat Defends Ref Choice

FOOTBALL Referees Association of Tanzania (FRAT) said they usually do thorough pre-assessment of referees before giving them green light to take charge of matches.

This was narrated yesterday by FRAT chairman Soud Abdi as his reaction to the official statement from Young Africans which said they were surprised with the decision to let referee Ahmed Arajiga be in charge of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) finals between Simba and Yanga tomorrow.

According to the statement which was issued by the club's communication department and circulated on Thursday via different social media platforms, it said Arajiga was picked to officiate two back to back ASFC games for Simba which are the quarterfinals and semifinals and now, he is selected to take care of the finals.

"The management of Yanga believes that Tanzania has got many competent referees and the tendency to repeat the same ref in three matches of the same team in the same competition is a surprise to us and our supporters," the statement partly said.

It therefore requested Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and those involved in running ASFC to look into the matter raised. However, the FRAT boss pointed out that a referee who officiated either quarterfinal or semifinal matches is not prohibited to be picked for the finals duel.

"We can hardly assign a referee to be in charge of a final game without doing pre-assessment of his or her performance in previous encounters. "This is done not only here but anywhere in the world. You see that a referee who is selected to take care of the finals is usually picked from a group of refs who managed to officiate in the quarterfinal stage or beyond of a particular competition," Abdi said.

He added that when it comes to big match of Yanga versus Simba caliber which carries attention of many people, they do further scrutiny of the referee to be assigned the match contrary to other games.

Arajiga made headlines after the ASFC semifinals game between Simba and Azam at Majimaji Stadium in Songea when he let the solitary goal scored by Louis Miquissone from a quicky taken set-piece stand.

However, this will be the first time for the two giant teams in the country to meet in the ASFC finals with Simba trying to be the first team to defend the title twice in a row in front of their traditional rivals. Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma is therefore set to host the biggest football show down in the country which in most cases halts normal businesses for a while.

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