Regional football leagues have issued different verdicts on officiation in the just ended season. The North and Central regions said that refereeing was, in some instances, disappointing, while the South said it was impressive.
The Simama financed Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) Premier League wound up on December 27 with Chilumba Barracks as champions while Karonga United came second.
Barracks will receive K1 million (about $1 496) as prize money while United will pocket K500 000 (about $748).
Assessing the season, the league’s chairperson Lameck Khonje said it was generally a successful season but complained about the level of officiation.
“The referees were very disappointing. We have received several complaints from the clubs,” he said. “Decisions on offside and fouls were among the areas teams felt the referees were poor.”
Meanwhile, Khonje said they will hold discussions with the Northern Region Football Referees Committee on how to tackle poor officiation.
“Next season we want improved performances so we will sit down with the referees committee to analyse the situation and come up with the best solutions,” he said.
In the meantime, Chipiku Central Region Football League treasurer Pyson Likagwa said their season, which finalised in the just ended weekend, was also marred by officiation complaints.
He said the development led into some clubs rejecting referees on grounds that they do not officiate fairly.
“Some teams were choosing their own referees arguing that the officials assigned to their games were not good enough, it was that bad this season,” he said.
Likagwa, meanwhile, has said they have already met the regional referees’ body to strategise on how to improve officiation next season.
Dwangwa United are the champions of the Chipiku Central Region Football Association (CRFA) Premier League and return to the Super League after over three seasons.
Meanwhile, the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) chairman Raphael Humba has said they have not received any officiation complaints.
Speaking ahead of the league’s conclusion next week, he attributed the development to the meeting they held with the referees prior to the start of the season.
“I am pleased to report that officiation has been fantastic. This has made our season a huge success. I would like to pat the referees on the back for a brilliant job,” Humba said.
The season will be winding up while Max Bullets have already been declared champions, but positions two and three are still up for grabs.
“We are expecting an exciting conclusion to the season,” Humba said.
Meanwhile, the National Football Referees Committee (NFRC) secretary general Chris Kalichero said he was pleased that the Southern Region referees have been commended for their good work.
On the complaints from the North and Centre, he said they have not received any official complaint: “I think that issue is still at regional level but if they think they can’t handle it they will report to us.” n