The Confederation of African Football (CAF), have appointed Zambian referees for the second leg of the CAG Champions League quarter final second leg tie between Tanzanian giants Simba SC and DR Congo giants TP Mazembe in Lubambashi.
Top FIFA referee Janny Sikazwe has been named as the centre referee replacing Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema, Berhe Tesfagiorgis O’Michael of Eritrea AHS been named as the first assistant replacing another Ethiopian referee Temeagin Samuel Atango
Romeo Kasengele and Audrick Nkhole of Zambia have been named as second assistant and fourth official respectively replacing Kenyan duo of Gilbert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and Peter Waweru.
However the decision has raised some eyebrows with a number people asking for an explanation as to why the Continental football governing body has decided to make this decision.
Simba CEO Creacentius John Magori has officially written to The Tanzanian FA to complain to CAF on their behalf for this change to be reversed as they feel the decision as been done abruptly.
“I’m writing with regards to the subject heading. Earlier this morning we have received a letter from CAF informing us of the change of referees ‘due to technical reasons’ for the return leg of our quarter final match with TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi (please find attached the letter). This is unprecedented for CAF to change referees after the first leg match has been played for unknown ‘technical reasons.”
Tumetuma malalamiko dhidi ya @CAF_Online kwa kufanya mabadiliko ya waamuzi wa mchezo wa marudiano wa #CAFCL ambao tutacheza Jumamosi. / We have formally lodged complaint against CAF for the abrupt change in referees ahead of match against TP Mazembe in this Saturday in DRC. pic.twitter.com/BD5qGTrLkt
— Simba Sports Club (@SimbaSCTanzania) April 8, 2019
“We humbly request your esteemed office to timely intervene in this matter to ensure that the referees earlier appointed are reinstated to ensure a fair game. This abrupt change calls for a lot of speculation considering that the newly appointed referees are predominantly from the neighboring country (Zambia), Bordering the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC);which is a driving distance to Lubumbashi. This is a major cause for concern for us.”
Simba and Mazembe played out to a goalless draw in Dar es Salaam last Saturday and will face off in a second leg in Lubumbashi on Saturday.
Away from the officials on the pitch it will again be a Zambian affair. In the first leg, Clatous Chota Chama put in a 55 minute for Simba . Rainford Kalaba put in a 57 minute shift , Nathan Sinakala was a second half substitute while Kabaso Chongo put in a full shift for the DR Congo giants.