Refs get yellow cards for their lies

2009-09-05 13:10

NINE of the 14 Premier Soccer League (PSL) match officials who

failed the controversial ­polygraph test have been let off the hook – for


They are back in the panel after being reprimanded and cautioned,

while the other five will have to appear again before Judge Graham Mushwana for

further assessment.

The 14 have been on ice since failing the lie detector test during

the off-season.

The test was done to establish whether referees had taken bribes to

influence the outcome of ­matches.

Ari Soldatos, South African Football Association’s (Safa)

chairperson of the referees appointment committee, confirmed that certain

officials were back on the panel.

He said they had not been automatically disqualified for failing

the test.

“We have always said we wanted corrective rather than punitive

measures against these referees and based on the recommendation of the

commission of inquiry, they are now eligible to officiate at games,” said


However, he said others would not be reinstated until Mushwana was

satisfied that they had made open disclosures.

“Certain officials did not make full disclosures and the judge felt

they need to go through further assessment and interrogation. They will not be

appointed until I get the go-ahead from the authorities.”

But Soldatos said the officials would go through the test again

within three months and if they were found to be untruthful, they would be

booted out forever.

Meanwhile, the PSL and the South African Football Association

(Safa) are at loggerheads over the composition of the new referees panel.

The league wants the number reduced to 50 while the referees

committee is still undecided.

Last season there were 64 match officials on the panel divided into

two categories – elite and supplementary.

As a result, the league has not paid match officials their monthly


PSL’s general ­manager for football Ace Ncobo confirmed that they

had not paid referees yet because he said: “We are unable to determine who to

pay as we are yet to receive the new ­panel.”

Ncobo, a former referee himself, said the decision to reduce the

panel to 50 was taken jointly between the two organisations, adding that it

should have been effected in early January.

Safa referees chairperson Kirsten Nematandani said it was not going

to be easy to reduce the panel without a proper consultation process.

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