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COSAFA snubs Bondo

Publishing Date : 29 May, 2018

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Botswana’s best performing referee Joshua Bondo will not officiate at the up-coming Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) tournament following reports that his showing at the previous edition was not up to scratch.


The move will in turn see a much younger and rising referee, Tirelo Mositwane stepping up for the job. The COSAFA Castle Cup 18th edition is expected to commence on the 27th of this month in South Africa. Botswana was expected to host the tourney but pulled out citing budget constraints. The COSAFA referees committee was of the view that Bondo performed below par last year and that is why he was sent back home. Ironically, the same month, Bondo received the honour for best referee on home soil.


The blot in his performance was allegedly when he officiated in the game between Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The said match ended at a 0-0 stalemate. Bondo was heavily critised by Zimbabwean media for what they called ‘diabolic’ refereeing. It is said the Botswana referee erred by not awarding the Zimbabwean National Team rightful two penalties.


“COSAFA, who have a zero tolerance on bad officiating, wielded the axe on Bondo after reviewing the referee’s pathetic performance which marred the group Group top-of the- table clash between the Warriors and Madagascar that eventually ended 0-0,” the report claimed before Bondo was shown the door.


Bondo was duly criticized across the COSAFA region and also on the continent for his poor show. It was said that the regional body’s referees committee that is using the tournament to develop match officials from Southern Africa stuck to their principle and took a last resort to punish Bondo. The last year’s performance is believed to have cost Bondo a place at this year’s edition, but it is indeed ironic considering the magnitude of games the Senete born referee has officiated across the African continent.


He rose to stardom when he officiated at the pressure filled AFCON qualifiers between Ivory Coast and Mali in 2016. The chairman of referees’ committee Eatametse Olopeng has however once more expressed much adoration and confidence in Bondo. “Bondo is one of the best referees in Botswana and Southern Africa. In the last year COSAFA game, it was unfortunate that he made such a mistake. But it should be noted that Bondo had no rest and fatigue could have taken its toll,” he said.


Bondo started off as a football player for his local club Hartlepool FC in the third division of the Selebi-Phikwe region. In a 2001 game while still at his local club, he got so angry with the referee and decided to quit playing football and become a referee. His career of refereeing started in the lower leagues where he gradually rose up the ranks. Bondo was once voted best referee at the 2007 Africa U17 tournament that was held in Namibia. Last year was Bondo’s first appearance at the AFCON Finals, officiating the game between Ghana and Uganda after officiating a series of qualification games.

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