Soccer

Siem: No PSL v SAFA battle

2011-03-09 12:34
Kjetil Siem (Gallo)
Johannesburg - PSL CEO Kjetil Siem has denied claims that the league is at loggerheads with SAFA over the referees' professional structure.

Football365.co.za has gathered that since the PSL Executive Committee agreed to endorse the immediate implementation of a professional refereeing structure in the PSL and NFD late last year, the league has failed in their attempts to get it off the ground, allegedly owing to disagreements with SAFA.

Apparently, that national governing body, who are in charge of the officials, claim the PSL "stole its idea."

"The reality is the PSL wanted the structure implemented early in 2011, but they are failing to get it off the ground, because of a disagreement with SAFA over the whole idea and there are claims that the PSL stole SAFA's idea," said a source.

"In fact, the PSL bought a building next to its offices in Parktown (Johannesburg) and they already have a budget, but there is little they can do moving forward until SAFA comes on board."

A PSL official, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, confirmed the purchase of the building and hints both parties don't see eye-to-eye on the matter. "We even have a building that we have purchased to house the pro ref offices. I don't need to tell you where the stumbling block is coming from," he said.

The professional structure was at a recommendation of world-renowned English referee David Elleray, who was brought to South Africa by SAFA to be a part of the Semenya Commission last year.

The committee had been tasked with looking into corruption and match fixing in South African football and find solutions to counter the scourge, but it was slated for being a copycat of Operation Dribble.

Siem has denied the PSL is at loggerheads with SAFA.

He said: "Yes, we bought a building for the referees, which is next door to the offices... but there is no problem between the PSL and SAFA.

"But we cannot start until we have agreed on the principles. The referees are under SAFA's jurisdiction so we must do this together."

Siem added the referees' pro structure might be implemented in time for the start of new season.

"It is not a question of stealing anyone's idea, that's a childish way of putting it. It is just a question of implementing what we both want. The plan is to start next season," he concluded.

Read more on:    safa  |  psl  |  kjetil siem
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