Match officials left in the cold for failing test

2012-02-18 19:44

On the week when the Absa Premier Soccer League (PSL) got back to full swing, senior referees Buyile Gqubule and Charl Theron were missing from action after being dropped from the elite refereeing panel.

The two experienced officials are among a list of match referees who were left out of the panel after failing the fitness test and/or not undertaking the assessment.

According to a highly-placed SA Football Association (Safa) official, Gqubule failed the test while Theron was not available when it was done, and until he proves his fitness he will not be allowed back into the panel.

Other experienced officials who have been left out include assistants Godfrey Selopetsa, Mzimkhulu Chalambisa, Mantuse Nayo and Leon Mngqibisa.

This four are not expected to be back in action until they undergothe test, which is set to take place later next month or in early April.

As a result of the absence of seasoned referees, Safa has promoted more than 10 match officials. And this comes at a time when the National First Division (NFD) clubs have complained that Safa is using their division as a dumping ground of inexperienced referees.

NFD clubs have voiced their dissatisfaction about the amateurish officiating.

Said a club owner who didn’t want to be identified for fear of victimisation: “It’s true that we are not happy that new referees are being tested in our division.

“This has been going on for some time and we need to put a stop to it because we are at the receiving end of poor officiating.”

NFD clubs have previously been targeted for speaking their mind on refereeing hence they no longer feel free to be identified.

PSL chief executive Stan Matthews said he was aware of such complaints as they have been raised a few times during meetings, adding they were monitoring the situation.

The league’s football manager Derek Blanckensee said the only challenge they had on the matter was when there was a full list of fixtures for both the PSL and NFD.

However, the Safa head of referees, Adeel Carelse, was quick to quash the allegations that his department was using the first division as a breeding ground for young referees.

He said all his new referees have undergone high-intensity training and that they all met the requirements.

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