Failed refs blow again while FS Stars get raw deal

2011-10-22 20:29

Top match officials Daniel Bennett and Lwandile Mfiki have made a low-key return to the refereeing fold following a three-month absence.

The pair who failed the Fifa fitness test in August made their comeback in the National First Division (NFD) this week.

Bennett and Mfiki passed the rigorous assessment in Malawi last month but their colleague, Jerome Damon, could not finish the race.

Mfiki was in charge of the NFD game between Carara Kicks and FC AK at Charles Mopeli midweek, while Bennett was supposed to have been in charge of the cancelled clash between United FC and Vasco da Gama on the same day.

The dire straits faced by the refereeing fraternity seems to have prompted the duo’s early return.

According to the rules, they were supposed to be frozen for six months but lack of experienced officials has left the Safa’s refereeing department depleted.

Alpha Mchunu, chairperson of the National Referees Committee, confirmed the pair’s return, saying it was the norm for referees who have been inactive to be given a platform to regain their fitness and sharpness. “There has been an im-balance in the appointment as we were stretched by the congestion of fixtures and that put a burden on the appointment committee,” said Mchunu.

In another development, Gauteng match officials refused to run their mandatory fitness test because there was no medical team on standby, as stipulated in the rules.
Mchunu said he received a report stating that the fitness test did not take place.

»?Meanwhile, Free State Stars believe that referees are out to get them, and have called for the refereeing structure to be overhauled.

Ea Lla Koto have been at the receiving end of some dubious officiating since the beginning of the season, with two of their legitimate goals being disallowed.

The Bethlehem-based team’s misfortunes with match officials started in their first league game of the season when their goal against SuperSport United was disallowed.

Later, Sylvester Ndaba, the chairperson of the referee’s technical committee, apologised on national TV to Stars coach Steve Komphela for the mistake that cost the team three points.
Last weekend Stars’ goal against rivals Bloemfontein Celtic was also not counted and the club lost 1-0.

Stars’ general manager Rantsi Mokoena, son of owner Mike, believes their club is being targeted.?He said it did not help to lodge complaints with the league as they had tried that before.

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