It’s a man’s game

2013-09-08 14:00

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Women officials told to pass Fifa men’s fitness tests to handle matches.

The notion “football is indeed a man’s game” has been confirmed by Fifa’s stance that if women want to officiate men’s games, they must pass men’s fitness tests.

According to world football governing body Fifa, only women referees or women assistant referees who have passed Fifa’s physical fitness test for men may?be nominated for men’s tournaments or matches.

As a result, no women will officiate in Absa Premiership matches until they satisfy this requirement.

This after all 10 female officials who took part in the fitness examination in Kroonstad, Free State, last weekend could not make it.

Safa’s head of referees, Lindile “Ace” Kika, said the local football association would work around the clock to prepare women for the gruelling assessment next month.

“I don’t want to make a big fuss about it as we have already put measures in place to prepare them.

I think we pushed them too hard, too soon, hence they could not make it,” said Kika.

He said they have set up a training programme that would help them pass the test.

“For now they will be on a ­six-week cooling period but we will use this time to push them hard. We are disappointed that we don’t have anyone on our panel at the moment but we are confident they will make the grade.”

»?Meanwhile, Kika said he was saddened by referee Buyile Gqubule’s sudden retirement from the game. This week, the Eastern Cape official announced he was quitting due to a persistent injury.

Kika said Gqubule would be sorely missed as he was one of the best in the business.

“It came as a complete surprise to me, especially at a time when we had just promoted youngsters and had hoped he would help them acclimatise to the professional ranks. But I respect him. When his body could not take it any more, he did not want to push it beyond its limit,” said Kika.

He said he hoped Gqubule would not be lost to the game.

Kika said he was crossing his fingers that they do not lose Jerome Damon as well.

Damon could not take part in last weekend’s fitness test because of an ailment.

He had failed the previous test in July.

Kika said it would be a huge blow to lose two match officials at the same time.

“I just hope his ailment is not too serious and he will be able to do the test.”

Kika has also assured match officials that they would receive their kit for the new season soon.

“It’s still a cat in the bag but we are hoping to unveil it at the right time,” he said.

Different sexes, same regiment

»?On Friday, Lwandile Mfiki and Lufuno Nemaguvhani passed their assessment in Malawi and will be back on the Fifa panel.

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