Another setback for top SA ref Damon

2011-12-17 13:44

Former international referee Jerome Damon’s comeback to top flight football has suffered another setback after he tore a muscle this week.

Damon, who has been out of action since failing the Fifa fitness test in August, has kept a low profile, officiating in Safa’s lower divisions – the SAB Regional League and the Vodacom League.

However, his route to recovery from a hamstring injury which meant he was unable to complete a test in Malawi in September suffered a minor knock this week. He lasted only 30 minutes in an SAB league match between Table View and Crystal Palace after hurting his hamstring.

A frustrated Damon, who was the only South African referee at the 2010 Fifa World Cup, said he was looking forward to getting back to the panel but now has to delay his comeback.

“These things happen in football, and I have to be patient and make sure I heal completely before attempting to do the test again. It is a temporary setback and I am confident I will be back soon,” he said.

“After eight weeks of physio at the sports science institute, I got an all clear and I was on my way to full fitness until this week.

“But the doctor says it’s a minor tear and I should be able to resume training next week.”

He said the most difficult part has been the fact that he had no chance to interact with his colleagues.

“It is difficult to sit and watch matches on television. But I took a decision not to watch South African football unless my colleagues asked me to give them feedback.”

Damon, who has lost his spot on the international panel, has already missed out on a chance to officiate at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, which will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, the rape case involving banned assistant referee Luyanda Somi was postponed for the third time, to Tuesday.

Somi, who was on the international panel, was banned for life from all football activities by Safa’s disciplinary committee after he was found guilty of sexual misconduct.

He has appealed against the decision.

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