In the wake of their semi-final exit from the Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar, Rwandan giants APR FC announced they would no longer compete in the competition.
After a goalless 90 minute encounter at Amaan Stadium, APR suffered a 4-2 defeat to defending champions Mlandege of Zanzibar on penalties.
Before the game ended, APR’s Sharaf Shabiboub headed the ball in the net from Ismail ‘Pitchou’ Nshimirimana’s cross, but the match officials disallowed the goal on claims that he was offside.
APR FC labeled the officiating as an ‘absolute disgrace’ saying that the match ref was unfair.
As a result of the disallowed goal, Sharaf Shabiboub, who had been awarded a cash prize for his fair play, approached the match refs and threw the prize away, accusing them of being biased.
As if that was not enough, APR FC coach refused to take questions from the media following the match instead sending goalkeeper coach Aimé Désire ‘Ndanda’ Ndizeye, who frustratedly said, “Our team fell victim to referees.”
“Everyone has seen the game and you can see how the referees were not fair to APR. Despite showing how good we are, we are not returning to the tournament,” Ndanda told the media following the match.
“The referees don’t give the visiting teams a chance to enjoy football, and even the people of Tanzania and Zanzibar but we have shown what we are capable of,” he added.
To some who watched the live interview, the announcement was a surprise and prompted some media houses like Tanzania-based TV Azamu to stop the live broadcast.
Mlandege will face either Simba or Singida Fountain Gates in the final.
The Mapinduzi Cup is a competition that celebrates the Zanzibar revolution anniversary every year.