Akan Blasts ‘Unfit Referee’

ORLANDO Pirates coach Ali Akan launched a scathing attack on referee Reinhold Malima for alleged biased officiating after his side played out a goalless draw against Tura Magic on Wednesday night.

Akan had a few choice words for the match official, whom he feels is out of his depth in the Namibia Premier League.

Akan believes that third-placed Pirates could have leapfrogged log leaders Black Africa and Tigers, as opposed to trailing them by a one point, had it not been for Malima.

“Every small contact the referee gives a free-kick to Tura Magic. Today this guy was just supporting Tura Magic. Tura Magic were playing with 14 players,” a seething Akan told The Namibian Sport after the match.

“There was no way we could beat Tura Magic. Not a single way. Today he used 80 percent of his whistle for Tura Magic. He gave so much confidence to Tura Magic.”

Akan claims Malima’s bias was clear for everyone at the Sam Nujoma Stadium to see and has called for an investigation into the referee’s performance in the fiery contest.

He questioned the official’s fitness and competence levels, saying he has voiced concern for similar incidents in the past but has been ignored by the football authorities.

“If the referee is handling the match like this in the second round of the league then you can see something seriously [wrong] is happening,” he said.

“Today everybody could see that this referee is weak… he cannot handle the match, he’s not fit enough, mentally he is not ok.

“Why does the NPL and referees association force these types of people to come and handle the matches. What guarantee is there that this referee is not going to sell out again?”

Malima also sent-off Pirates team manager Joanne Krohne for remonstrating with him late in the second half when striker Nicky Musambami tumbled to the ground under a heavy challenge just outside Tura’s box but the referee waved play on.

“It’s the last man [who tackled Musambami]. It must be a free-kick and a red card. But the referee’s attention was absolutely not there,” fumed Akan.

He added that: “When you say these things must be investigated, nobody comes forward to investigate and everybody says Ali is talking [too much]. The referee today already made the decisions [before the match]. You cannot score. It’s impossible. You will never find these stupid decisions anywhere in the world, but in Namibia it is happening.”

Referee administrator, Absalom Goseb refused to be drawn into a war of words with Akan, saying it was not how they operate.

“I don’t have to answer to any coach every time they complain. It does not work like that. I have to answer to facts,” Goseb said.

However Goseb did come to the defence of the under-fire referee, saying he is among the top officials in the country.

“He was nearly put on Fifa’s list. It is only a matter of time before he makes it. He passed the [Fifa] finest test and was in Lesotho for the Cosafa Region Referees Development Course last year,” said Goseb.

ALUTA CONTINUA

On Friday night, Civics and Tigers will hope their football ability and not the match official steals the limelight when they face-off at the Sam Nujoma Stadium (20h00).

Civics, in fifth, trail joint log leaders Tigers by four points, and head into the match knowing that victory will leave them just a point off top spot as the league edges closer to its conclusion.

Fellow title hopefuls African Stars, who lie fourth, take on bottom club Rundu Chiefs at the same venue on Saturday afternoon (16h00), while resurgent leaders and title holders Black Africa are away to mid-table Blue Waters at the Kuisebmund Stadium on Saturday (16h00).

Second-from-bottom Eleven Arrows will play Ramblers at the same stadium (13h30), with United Stars hosting Blue Boys at the Rundu Sport Stadium at 11h00 in Sunday’s only match.

Source : The Namibian