Johannesburg - Five match officials and two commissioners have been suspended and a further two officials rebuked in South African football’s first public acknowledgment of sanctions for poor officiating.
Referees Lebohang Daniels, Bafana Mosia, Robert Sithole and Robert Smith start their suspensions this weekend along with linesmen Luyoyo Pupuma in the wake of bad decisions in recent Absa Premiership games.
A statement from the South African Football Association broke new ground at the weekend, detailing publicly for the first time sanctions for poor performance by referees and linemen after assessment by Safa’s referees’ review committee.
Previous punishment for bad refereeing had been rumoured but never announced.
The committee suspended Daniels and his assistant Pupuma for disallowing a legitimate ‘goal’ for Free State Stars in their match against SuperSport United in Bethlehem in August.
The home side were denied a winner in a match littered with some comical officiating and widely condemned by Stars’ officials.
Daniels was banned for three weeks from both PSL and National First Division games while Pupuma received a two week suspension. Fourth official Mosia, who the committee said should have offered better advice to the referee at the time, is also out for two weeks.
Smith received a two week ban for failing to dismiss an unidentified Jomo Cosmos player in last month’s match against AmaZulu.
He will not ref any PSL games before November 14 but is allowed to work in the NFD.
Harry Lekitlane was found to have awarded Ajax Cape Town an incorrect penalty in their match with Kaizer Chiefs in Cape Town on September 13 and has been suspended from PSL games for two weeks.
Robert Sithole, the central figure in several controversial games already this season, was found to have been “below par” in two matches but the statement suggested extenuating circumstances.
“Cognicance has been taken of the fact that Sithole was removed from the Super 8 Cup final through no fault of his own, which may have adversely affected his mental state, resulting in poor performances.
“However, it cannot be used as an excuse and Sithole is severely reprimanded and accordingly informed that a recurrence will not be tolerated,” the committee said.
Assistant referee Stevens Khumalo was also warned for arriving late for a NFD game last month while match commissioners Kader de Goede and Stan Swart were suspended for two weeks for submitting reports “which were below standard and as such have been severely reprimanded,” the stamen said.
“They have also been informed that the quality of their assessments needs to be increased.”