Top Football Match Officials Suspended

The Referees’ Review Committee, citing poor performance, has sanctioned several top officials in the Absa Premiership and National First Division (NFD).  The Committee was unanimous that the new match officials’ disciplinary code stipulates that acts of poor performance that have been committed through blatant refereeing mistakes by not interpreting the Laws of the Games accordingly, must be sanctioned.  Part of the code of conduct reads:  ‘The Referee or the assistant Referee that has committed an incident affecting the outcome of the game shall immediately cease to be appointed for matches until such time that the matter has been dealt with and finalised.’
After going through all recorded matches, the following decisions were reached:
* In the match between Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits (19 December 2015), assistant referee Johannes Moshidi was deemed to have performed poorly and will not be appointed for National Soccer League (NSL) matches for a period of six weeks.  He will also forfeit his stipend for a period of one month.

* Referee Phillip Tinyane will be missing from action for a period of four weeks after his performance was deemed not satisfactory in the clash between Wits and Platinum Stars (3 February 2016).
* In the Free State Stars vs Bloemfontein Celtic (31 January 2016) encounter and the highly publicised top of the table clash between Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns (9 January 2016), assistant referee Sandile Dilikane was found to have officiated poorly.  He will not be eligible for appointments for NSL matches for a period of four weeks and will also forfeit his stipend for one month.

* Referee Daniel Volgraaff will have his fitness reassessed before he can be allowed back on the field following a string of poor decisions including incorrect interpretation and application of the laws in the Mbombela United vs Black Leopards (31 January 2016) clash.
* Referee Victor Hlungwani’s decisions in two matches – Orlando Pirates vs Platinum Stars (9 January 2016) and Polokwane City vs Maritzburg United (3 February 2016) – were found to be unsatisfactory.  He has been set aside for a period of six weeks and further hit in the pocket with the forfeiture of his stipend for a period of one month.

* Assistant referee Clifford Motaung has been suspended for four weeks after giving an incorrect decision in the Pirates vs Stars (9 January 2016) match.

* Poor officiating in the Sundowns vs Chiefs (16 December 2015) clash has resulted in referee Kulasande Qongqo not being assigned any duties for a period of six weeks and forfeited his stipend for one month.

* In the same fixture, Match Commissioner George Boodhoo was found to have performed his duties poorly.  He was also sanctioned for his report in the Pirates vs Stars (9 January 2016) match.  Boodhoo will be sidelined for a period of four weeks.
The sanctions are with immediate effect.  SAFA head of referees Peter Sejake says:  ‘These sanctions are consistent with our main objective of ensuring that our match officials remain highly competitive and sought after throughout the continent and globally.’  Sejake said he was not worried about the big number of suspensions as there are several upcoming match officials who will fill in the gap.  The suspended referees will not just be sitting at home kicking their heels, but will be considered for Provincial League under the mentorship of seasoned match commissioners in an attempt to fix their mistakes.

Photo credit: Nick Lourens