In SuperSport United’s recent 2-1 victory over Al Hilal Benghazi in the CAF Confederation Cup group stages, Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi found himself at the center of controversy. Arubi was shown a red card just after the half-hour mark for deliberately handling the ball outside the box.
Initially, referee Patrice Mebiame from Gabon issued a yellow card for the offense. However, moments later, he returned to the decision, upgrading it to a red card. The match further spiraled into chaos as another red card was brandished, this time for Benghazi player Ahmed Mohamed in the second half.
The tumultuous scenes continued towards the end of the game when officials from both SuperSport United and Benghazi’s technical benches engaged in a physical altercation. Assistant coach Grant Johnson of SuperSport United also received a red card as a consequence.
The series of incidents left SuperSport United’s head coach Gavin Hunt visibly frustrated, to the extent that he openly contemplated retirement from football. Reflecting on Arubi’s red card, Hunt expressed his dissatisfaction with the officiating, emphasizing the lack of VAR in the match.
While acknowledging the correct decision for a red card, Hunt criticized the sequence of events, questioning the referee’s initial yellow card, followed by the delayed red card. The chaotic nature of the game and the absence of VAR contributed to Hunt’s frustration, leading him to contemplate stepping away from the sport.
Despite the victory, Hunt’s disappointment stemmed from the disorderly proceedings on the field, prompting him to share his disillusionment with the players in the dressing room. The experienced coach expressed concern about the current state of the game and the challenges it presents, especially in the absence of VAR to ensure fair and accurate officiating.