JOHANNESBURG – South African Football Association (Safa) chief executive Dennis Mumble has shed light on what the association is doing to improve the standard of officiating in the country.
Referees have stolen the show this season, with their poor officiating that resulted in Cedrick Muvhali and assistant referee Patrick Jafta suspended for their handling of Cape Town City’s clash with Polokwane City.
One of the country’s best referees, Daniel Bennett, had a bad performance in the World Cup qualifier between Uganda and Ghana, which led to him being dropped from officiating in the Caf Champions League semi-final tie between Wydad Casablanca and Al-Ahly.
The situation is dire in the lower leagues with allegations of corruption.
“There have been issues in some of our leagues,” Mumble said. “We are addressing that issue seriously. I had a workshop with our referee’s technical sub-committee.
“As you know, we have restructured the technical sub-committee. Jerome Damon is there, Enock Molefe, Thenda Masikhwa and Ace Ncobo.
“We appointed them on that technical sub-committee to address some of the deficiencies that we have seen. But I don’t want to paint a picture of things being all doom and gloom in the referees’ department.
“Of all the countries in the African continent, we have the largest numbers of referees on the international panel. Our referee’s programme is still doing well.
“The committee is made up of former referees, Fifa and Caf referees. Jerome is likely to be the chairman of that committee.”
Masikhwa will act as the HOD in place of the late Ian McLeod. Mumble also revealed that Safa will give ABC Motsepe League teams HD cameras to record their matches to serve as evidence should any disputes arise.
He said this at the draw of the Sasol League National Championships on Tuesday at Safa House.
The tournament, with an increased prize money from R50 000 to R200 000 for the winners, will run from December 4-9 in Mbombela featuring the winners from all nine provinces.
The championships are an ideal opportunity for the Banyana Banyana technical team to scout players who aren’t in the set-up as it pits the best nine teams in the country in one place.
But more than a year later, Banyana are still without a permanent head coach, with Desiree Ellis handling the job in the interim since Vera Pauw left in August last year after the Olympics.
“I don’t think that we have dropped the ball so to speak,” Mumble said. “The team is playing and is winning. There are no glitches that I see ahead of us. It’s just getting that mandate and finalising that issue.”
The drag in the search for the Banyana coach is worse than that of the Bafana Bafana coach, which stretched for almost half a year.
“We are going back to the technical committee now,” Mumble said.
“We need guidance on what we do next. I am looking for a time when people are available in the next few weeks so that we can go back and get some better direction as to where to go now.
“The hold-up is that the candidates that the technical task team, responsible for the selection of the coach, the selections that they made – neither of the coaches they chose were available. That’s why I have to go back for a new mandate from the technical committee.”