Komphela slams 'rubbish' refs
Bethlehem - Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela has lamented the standard of refereeing in the sport and the impact this may have on results in the Premiership.
"It is purely rubbish (refereeing standards). And if you go through the rubbish then you will come out stinking," said Komphela.
"It is discouraging. You should check the records from our matches, you could swear it is deliberate and someone has got an agenda."
Bafana Bafana's first-ever national captain is still reeling from his team's 1-0 Premiership loss to neighbours Bloemfontein Celtic over the weekend.
This came after his side had a goal that looked like a legitimate one disallowed by referee Buyile Gqubule.
Last month, Wits coach Roger de Sa vented his anger over standards of refereeing this season, leading calls to have match officials made full-time professionals instead of semi-pros.
"It was a legitimate goal against Celtic," said Komphela.
"We had a goal from a free-kick denied against SuperSport United earlier in the season. Maybe the guy was a novice, but it was the same thing with decisions in most of our matches.
"It defeats the whole purpose of success and it makes me sad because I sometimes think about abandoning what I love."
Local soccer turns its focus to cup competition this week with the start of this season's Telkom Knockout.
Free State Stars have a tricky away first-round clash against Ajax Cape Town at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday.
"I'm going there hoping that the referee won't be a factor," Komphela said.
"We will be playing a good team where we will be looking at improving [from] some of our own stupid mistakes that we made against Celtic."
Stars have not lifted any silverware in 17 years.
"It has been a while, and I have been here for five seasons playing non-stop, so it would be nice if we can go all the way with this trophy," said captain and Zambian international goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene.
"And there is no saying that we can't win it. We've broken boundaries recently after beating Orlando Pirates in the league for the first time at home in nearly 10 years."
While meeting the Urban Warriors first up is a mammoth task, the self-proclaimed fittest team in the country might have an advantage of a daytime kick-off despite the windy Cape conditions.
Ajax have grown a reputation of struggling in the afternoon heat and being at their best in evening kick-offs.
"Ajax generally struggle when they play during the day," Mweene said.
"But they will still be tough and I believe it will be an open game and one that we hope we can secure without going to extra-time or penalty shoot-outs."