CAPS United head coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, has lashed out at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for a decision which saw fullback, Ronald Pfumbidzai, being replaced a few minutes before kick off of their match against Bantu Rovers at the National Sports Stadium on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old was dropped from the line up and replaced by Valentine Musarurwa soon after completing pre match warm up following a notification from PSL that the defender would serve a suspension after accumulating three yellow cards and would not participate during their postponed match day eight fixture against Bantu Rovers.
According to Chitembwe, club CEO, Cuthbert Chitima, received and relayed the suspension communication 10 minutes before kick-off when the teams were preparing for the march out from the dressing rooms.
“It’s sad, sad, sad, really. It’s sad for football. We plan, but our planning sometimes is rendered useless by football administrators. It’s very disappointing, you know, we put in a lot of work behind [the scenes] only to be told 10 minutes prior to the start of the match, it’s very unfortunate,” Chitembwe told Soccer24 after the match.
Pfumbidzai was not part of the list of suspensions for match day eight circulated by the Premier Soccer League on the 11th of May 2017 which consisted of Pride Zivengwa of Tsholotsho FC and Obey Mwerahari of Dynamos. In addition, Pfumbidzai had not yet accumulated three yellow cards when their clash against Bantu Rovers was postponed.
“That decision, in as far as I’m concerned, is as misplaced as it is very, very misinformed. Of course players had to go through [with today’s match]. We just had to make sure Ronald misses the game (in compliance), but we need notification well before kick-off, not 10 minutes prior to the start of the match,” he said.
According to Chitembwe, Pfumbidzai was on PSL’s list of match day 12 suspended players and was meant to miss CAPS United’s clash against Black Rhinos at home on Sunday, 4 June, 2017. The match, however, was also postponed due to CAPS United’s participation in the CAF Champions League.
“He was supposed to miss the [Black] Rhinos game, and we thought it was the Rhinos game. We were waiting for notification from PSL that Ronald is not supposed to play in your next game. We thought they were going to communicate with us, that’s the reason why they are there.
“It’s not about them (administrators) alone, we (coaches and players) are also stakeholders, we are equally important in this football set up.
“Their job is to communicate with football clubs, not for them to make decisions as and when they feel like . . . because these players are also stake holders. They need to be told well in advance so that they also plan. We coaches are also stakeholders in this, we also need to be advised on time so that we also plan,” he said.