JOHANNESBURG - Safa chief executive, Denis Mumble, 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.
Moreover, 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 referees' technical subcommittee. As you know, we have restructured the technical subcommittee. Jerome Damon is there, Enock Molefe, Thenda Masikhwa and Ace Ncobo.
"We appointed them to that technical subcommittee 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 referees' programme is still doing well.”
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 championship is an ideal opportunity for the Banyana Banyana technical team to scout players who aren’t in the setup as it will see the best nine teams in the country competing in one place.
“I don’t think that we have dropped the ball so to speak,” Mumble said while speaking of the association's lack of progress to find a permanent replacement for the Banyana coaching position. “The team is playing and is winning. There are no glitches ... It’s just getting that mandate and finalising that issue.”