South-Africa

Plaudits for SAFA’s red cards for refs initiative

2016-03-08 14:13
Red card (File)

Cape Town - Last week SAFA's Referee Review committee took another step in their enlightened and progressive "red cards for referees" initiative by naming and suspending three referees, three assistant referees and a match commissioner who officiated in recent PSL matches.

Among the games involved were those between Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits; Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic; Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns and Chiefs.

Suspensions ranged from four to six weeks and in one instance a fine was meted out as well.

Previously erring referees were placed in cotton wool and often handed extra assignments on the misguided basis that punishment and bad publicity would affect their confidence, the level of respect from players and spectators alike and indicate that SAFA had lost confidence in them.

It was a case of kindness backfiring and only spreading the malaise of bad decisions affecting the outcome of games and the referees still knowing they would not be punished.

"These sanctions are consistent with our main objective of ensuring that our match officials remain highly competitive and are recognised throughout the African continent and the globe."

The one danger, of course, is that it should not be overlooked referees are only human and will therefore make mistakes like everyone else and should therefore only be punished for mistakes that are in the inexcusable category.

Also it needs to be recognised that unlike many other sporting codes who are now using technology to limit the number of incorrect decisions, the former FIFA regime were drawing their heels on this matter and allowing mistakes in soccer matches to flourish instead of being eliminated.

Hopefully this is an issue that new FIFA president will seek to redress as a matter of urgency.

In the meantime, SAFA has made a bold statement by showing that referees are not immune from criticism and punishment when it is warranted.

Read more on:    safa  |  sy lerman  |  soccer
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