Absa Premiership

Let’s talk ­about referee calls that are clearly offside

2017-10-01 06:01
Timothy Molobi.

Johannesburg - I am yearning for an opportunity to interview a match official.

I am really looking forward to the day when officials will explain the rationale behind some of their decisions. Maybe I would feel better about things then.

For now, I am just seething with anger because they are taking the spotlight off people who deserve to shine.

Unless I’m wrong, match officials are not even supposed to make the back pages of the news, but here they jostle for space on the front pages and on talk shows.

I won’t even mention the debates that feature on social-media networks.

Urgent need

Hardly a day passes without a mention of a poor decision – these even have names put to them. We had the likes of the Hanging Judge, and today we have Penaldinho and the likes.

With so many bizarre decisions being made in our game, there is a need to get to know the thinking behind them.

In fact, I challenge those who decided match officials should not give their side of the story. How are we supposed to know what informs their decisions if we don’t get it from the horse’s mouth?

This cannot go unchallenged any longer. There is an urgent need to get to the bottom of some decisions.

With so much happening in our game, it is about time officials get a chance to explain themselves.

Gone are the days when they relied on spokespeople to articulate their standings for them. All those guys do is spin the truth, even when the facts are clear.

Match officials should no longer hide behind third parties when they can talk for themselves.

The stakes are too high and much money is involved nowadays. Coaches lose their jobs because of their decisions.

Maybe when they explain themselves, we the public will be in a better position to see things differently and put ourselves in officials’ shoes.

Until then, they will be guilty until proven innocent.

Partner in crime

There is nothing wrong with owning up after a genuine mistake. It is better than offering flimsy excuses. Referees are human beings too and are bound to make mistakes.

But, if so, they need to apologise and we need to move on.

If ever I get a chance, I’d ask assistant referee Patrick Jafta to take me through his thinking on why he had to flag Cape Town City’s Lehlohonolo Majoro offside when the striker was clearly in his lane.

If I get a chance to chat to him, and others like him, I would ask them about law 11 – the offside rule.

I know it is all about interpretation, but it shouldn’t be difficult to take me through the steps on why Majoro was ruled offside.

I’d ask Jafta’s partner in crime, Cedrick Muvhali, if he really had to make up for that by awarding City a penalty that never should have been.

What went through their minds after realising their costly mistake? I always thought two wrongs don’t make a right, but I am obviously wrong.

Best teacher

It’s as if these officials are out to outdo one another. Just a fortnight ago, Daniel Bennett awarded Maritzburg United a dubious penalty against Kaizer Chiefs.

But not many are talking about that. Is it because Itumeleng Khune saved it, or because it did not change the outcome of the game?

It was the wrong call, irrespective of the outcome of the game.

We know that officials have to think on their feet and make decisions on the spot whereas we, the armchair critics, have the benefit of TV replays. Granted, it is said that hindsight is the best teacher.

But I keep wondering if I’ll ever get to speak to some match officials.

Can’t wait!

. timothy@citypress.co.za

. Follow me on Twitter @TimspiritMolobi


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