Gaborone – Top Botswana referee, Joshua Bondo, who was sent home for questionable officiating during last year’s COSAFA Cup tournament, has failed to make the cut this year. Officials for the COSAFA Cup, which kicks-off in Polokwane, South Africa, on Sunday, were named this week.
Bondo was sent packing after he was accused of bias after failing to award Zimbabwe two ‘clear-cut’ penalties in a 0-0 stalemate against Madagascar.
He was described as “the referee from hell” by certain sections of the Zimbabwe media, and a complaint was immediately lodged with the COSAFA Referees Committee.
The whistle man was immediately sent home in an embarrassing end to his tournament. Bondo, who has been handling the COSAFA Cup for years now, misses out this year with fellow countryman, Tirelo Mositwane preferred.
“The COSAFA referee’s committee has made their selection,” Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane, said.
Bondo, despite controversies last year, remains a top referee who has handled just about every tournament on the continent and made his debut at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon.
The full list has nine referees, who include Victor Gomes from South Africa, Nomore Musundire from Zimbabwe, Angola’s Helder Martins De Carvalho, Bernard Camille (Seychelles), Ahmad Imtehaz Heeralall
(Mauritius), Jackson Pavaza (Namibia), Hamada Nampiandraza (Madagascar), Mositwane (Botswana) and Celso Alvacao (Mozambique).
There are also nine assistant referees who include James Emile (Seychelles), Souru Phatsonae (Lesotho), Athenkosi Ndongeni (South Africa), Sifiso Nxumalo (Swaziland), Matheus Kanyanga (Namibia), Romeo Kasengele (Zambia), Fabian Cauvelet (Mauritius), Clemence Kanduku (Malawi) and Mmadi Faissoil (Comoros).
The COSAFA Cup will run from May 27 to June 9, with Zimbabwe starting as defending champions.