The assistent referee, Kholwani Tshidavhu, was allegedly assaulted.
Violence broke out towards the end of the match between Madombidzha Arsenal and Makhitha Runga Birds that was played at the Madombidzha Sports Grounds last Thursday.
The match ended in controversy, as some of the players and fans of Arsenal accused the assistant referee of favouritism. The players of Arsenal, together with fans and officials, confronted the assistant referee, Kholwani Tshidavhu. They argued that the goal that Tshidavhu had disallowed, ruling that the player had been off-side, should have been awarded. Tshidavhu stood by his decision.
The situation became nasty when two players of Arsenal hit the assistant referee with their fists on the forehead. More fans joined in the fracas. Tshidavhu was also allegedly assaulted with other dangerous instruments during the brawl.
According to the referee's report, the match started well, with both teams fighting for superiority. The score was 1-0 in favour of Birds when violence broke out 43 minutes into the second half, with only two minutes left on the clock.
Tsundzu Ngwenya, the referee, stated in the report that the situation was no longer conducive for them to carry on with the game. He said he had no option but to stop the game.
According to an official of Makhitha Runga Birds, Mr Funi Thonga, he was surprised by the attitude of Arsenal, “by claiming a goal which was not a goal”.
An official of Arsenal, who did not want to be named, said that he was shocked and disappointed by the way the assistant referee differed with the referee for most of the game. He stressed the fact that losing a match unfairly demoralized both the players and technical staff.
SAFA Vhembe president Mr George Kubayi said that he was still waiting for reports from the teams, the referee and the assistant referees. “Once we get these reports, the team will appear before a disciplinary hearing,” said Kubayi. He said that they were going to summon Arsenal to appear before a disciplinary hearing to face a charge of direct abandonment of a match.
The spokesperson for the SAPS in Limpopo, Col Moatshe Ngoepe, said that two players of Arsenal, Hulisani Mbodi (20) and Lucky Buasi (19), had appeared in the Tshilwavhusiku Magistrate’s Court on Monday, but the case had been withdrawn.
Date:29 March 2019 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.