It’s a fight over fitness

2011-07-23 20:14

Confusion seems to reign over the ­authenticity of the Fifa fitness test ­performed this week.

Fifa refereeing instructor for Southern and Eastern Regions of Africa Felix Tangawarima told City Press that their test superseded any other done ­before, but the South African Football Association’s Adeel Carelse said this was not the case for the domestic panel.

Carelse, who recently performed ­fitness tests around the country, said the new referees panel would be based on the results of Safa’s fitness tests.

But Tangawarima was adamant that the Fifa test done this week replaced any other, and said those who failed should not be allowed to officiate until they have been retested and passed.

“Fifa’s fitness test is the supreme test for referees. The local association was aware of when we were coming to do this mandatory test, which supersedes everything else. If they have failed this test, they cannot officiate in any matches,” said Tangawarima.

He said as responsible authorities, ­Safa should comply with this requirement.

“I don’t want to think they would be officiating until they pass the test.”

Tangawarima referred to a complete match official as one who was physically and mentally fit and had passed the laws of the game test.

“Clubs put a lot of money into the game and our people should be ­officiating without compromising the game.”

Some match officials complained that fatigue was the reason for failing the Fifa test after they were ­subjected to the same test a fortnight ago.

Some of those who could not complete the mandatory laps on Wednesday include Charl Theron and HMantuse Nayo. The Durban officials only ran their test last weekend.

They argued that they didn’t have time to recuperate and most of them came to the training programme bearing an assortment of injuries and knocks which prevented them from completing the mandatory test.

However, Carelse allayed their fears by saying they should not worry, as they had passed the Fifa standard test before.

At this week’s high-level training course, Tangawarima said, they focused on two rules of the game that officials found difficult to interpret – the offside rule and fouls and the misconduct rule.

“We are happy with what we have seen here and the standard of South ­African referees keeps on getting better.

“There has been an improvement in terms of the acceptance of the ­programme and understanding the laws of the game,” said Tangawarima.

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