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ZIMBABWE Women Football chairperson, Miriam Sibanda has condemned the two Black Rhinos Queens players, Rufaro Machingura and Tariro Makumbe after they assaulted referee Mercy Maimbo during the NetOne Cup final at Rufaro on Saturday.The Harare-based side lost 4-5 on penalties to Bulawayo side Inline Soccer Academy. The the teams had been tied 2-2 after extra time.

Rhinos however, seemed unhappy with their defeat and appeared to lay the blame on the match offcials.

Sibanda said the assault on the referee “was an unfortunate and embarrassing incident especially coming from women'”.

“It was most unfortunate, it’s not something that we expected in the beautiful game and especially when the beautiful game is being played by women. What we saw was really disturbing, unbecoming of women and unfortunate. And as Zimbabwe women football we will have to apologise to our tournament sponsors for such a horrific ending.

It is something that we did not expect and now that it has happened we will not condone it. Violence has no place in the game of football.

“It’s shameful for women because from a gender perspective women are in the forefront of saying we don’t want gender based violence and as women when we initiate the violence it defeats our efforts as women football to use sport to promote peace,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda said the players will be dealt with accordingly as they are going to initiate disciplinary processes to ensure such behaviour is note repeated.

“The start was our insistence that they be arrested and charged under the appropriate law of what they did. As Zimbabwe Women football we are going to be following keenly.

“We are going to initiate football disciplinary processes so that in the football world they are also punished. These are the players that play in the Super League while the disciplinary process is taking place they are not going to be playing.

“What they did happened on the field of play. They were still under the jurisdiction of the referee which referee they went to assault so immediately they got red cards and will not play for the next two games.

We want to send a clear signal to players, women and girls to say that if women football is going to develop there is no place for violence. It will be difficult to entice sponsors that’s why we are saying we want to see justice being done,” said Sibanda.

Zifa communications managers, Xolisani Gwesela shared the same sentiments as well and said the football mother body does not condone such behaviour.

“As an association we condemn the attack on referees in the gest terms. We do not condone violence in any way. In terms of the rules of the game the referee has the final decision and we would like to make it abundantly clear that referees are not to be attacked.

“Anyone who attacks the referee will be dealt with fully in terms of the game’s statutes. The game of football is a very beautiful game and celebrates ethics of fair play and non violence and all those players who want to turn football stadiums into karate stadiums will be dealt with and we are going to flush out all those with violent tendencies.

“If someone puts the game of football into disrepute the procedure you go through is disciplinary hearing. As soon as we get the report from the referee and the match commissioner the due process will follow as soon as possible,” said Gwesela.

The two players who were arrested on Saturday were said to have been released from police yesterday.

Source : The Herald

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