Referees demand action over sexual harassment allegations

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A number of referees are reportedly boycotting online refresher courses run by the Zimbabwe Referees Committee demanding that sexual harassment allegations be addressed speedily.

Some female referees raised sexual harassment allegations against two referees’ principals and Zifa has acknowledged that complaints have been lodged with the association’s chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse and investigations were underway.

A source said the Zimbabwe Referees Committee has been running online courses to keep referees abreast of the latest trends, but since the sexual harassment allegations, those sessions have not been the same.

“Right now only five or six referees compared to 82 when we started are actively participating. The rest are saying the committee must either be disbanded or those accused step down. The (referees) WhatsApp group used to be very respectable, but now people say whatever they want, arguing that they can’t be respectful when those in leadership positions haven’t cleared their names from these embarrassing accusations,” said one referee.

Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela said the association has not received any official complaint from the referees.

“We haven’t received complaints to that effect,” said Gwesela.

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