Referee sparks Controversy


Referee McNells Gausi and his assistant Deus Mwenda’s contradictory decisions led to abandonment of the Northern Region Premier Division match involving Zolozolo United and Karonga United in Mzuzu on Sunday.

The teams went to break tied at 0-0 and, when play resumed, Karonga, who were the visiting team, looked to have scored through Khumbo Msowoya in the 55th minute.

However, the ball did not hit the back of the net but, to the surprise of many, the referee pointed to the centre of the pitch—indicating that it was a goal.


However, his assistant’s flag signalled for a goal-kick.

However, Gausi maintained his stand—a decision which infuriated home supporters who invaded the pitch, leading to the abandonment of the game with 35 minutes to go.

Northern Region Referees Committee Chairperson, Mavuto Msimuko, described the incident as unfortunate.


“In that scenario, it is the linesman who usually gets a better view of whether the ball is in or not. It is unfortunate that he [Gausi] maintained his stand,” he said.

Northern Region Football Association Fixtures Secretary, Ollens Msonda, said the association would analyse the referee’s match report before making a decision.

Leaders Karonga are level on 37 points from 19 games with Chilumba Barracks, who have played 18 matches. Karonga lead on goal-aggregate.

Despite that a referee’s decision is final, of late, world football governing body, Fifa, has been reversing results of games when there is overwhelming video evidence of a contradictory outcome.

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