Inconsistent refs a major concern – Baxter

2013-05-22 13:57

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Ahead of his team’s quest to claim a rare league and Cup double, Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has joined the call for an improvement in the standard of officiating in domestic top-flight football.

Baxter’s comments today came after Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa said last week that officials needed to be held accountable for their actions.

The former Bafana Bafana coach believed consistency of refereeing was a major concern in the local game.

“I think it’s been inconsistent, and at times too poor,” Baxter said at a training session in Naturena, where his side were preparing for the Nedbank Cup final against SuperSport United in Durban on Saturday.

“The same as us all – the players need to improve and the refs need to improve. Far too many games I’ve seen have not been decided (by a decision), but the course of the game has been changed by a very poor decision by the referee.”

Baxter believed a review system should be put in place in order to rectify the situation.

“There should be some sort of review or ramification,” he said.

“If you don’t have that, people sort of get the idea that it doesn’t matter what they do – and it does matter what they do.

“They’re the same as us all, and that is human. They’re the same as the coaches.”

Players and coaches were directly responsible for their performances and it should be no different for the referees, according to Baxter.

“I make mistakes, a couple of players make mistakes. Unfortunately ... I get sacked if I make too many mistakes. The players get dropped and they don’t get bonuses.

“For us and the club there are ramifications, so you hope that their education and development is looked at in a realistic way.”

Baxter insisted he was not making an attack on referees, but he felt improved officiating was crucial for South African football.

“No one is trying to pick on the referees, we’re just trying to hold our standards as high as possible.”

He also warned against the approach of some foreign leagues, where officials were overscrutinised.

“Referees and officials are human – of course they are – and they can make mistakes and they shouldn’t be scrutinised like they are, like in the English Premier League. That puts extra pressure on the referees.

“I’m not sure about that sort of microscopic investigation of what they’re doing.

“I think if someone has a performance that is way off the mark, or makes decisions that change the course of the game, then they should perhaps not be given a game for a while, or be put in a lower league.”

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