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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Stop reign of terror on our football pitches

By unknown | Feb 22, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

It is standard procedure in progressive professional soccer organisations to mete out punishment against officials if needs be, as the Premier Soccer League in South Africa has demonstrated.

It is standard procedure in progressive professional soccer organisations to mete out punishment against officials if needs be, as the Premier Soccer League in South Africa has demonstrated.

It can't therefore be surprising that John Comitis and Mickey Modisane will soon be hauled over the coals for their public criticism of referees.

The PSL views the utterances of the two officials in a serious light in that they have brought the organisation into disrepute.

Comitis, unlike Modisane who is an employee of Orlando Pirates as their PRO, is actually the boss of Ajax Cape Town. And not only that, he is also a member of the PSL executive committee.

It remains to be seen how the league handles a case against one of their own executives and what the verdict and sentence is going to be.

The PSL has been vocal about running its business professionally and thus discouraged club officials from washing their dirty linen in public.

Having said that, I don't have to emphasise our support for that approach because in my judgment the PSL is the pride of Africa. I think even Trevor Phillips would concur.

The question, is how come there are still people out there who are allowed to rubbish the image of this establishment?

It is Sports Indaba's assertion that Comitis and Modisane are not the first and are also not going to be the last to complain about some of our referees.

The truth is, South African referees are indeed well trained and some are highly rated by the Confederation of African Football.

But it is their inconsistency and arrogance that gets my goat.

Suddenly, I have this apathy for referees. This as if I were not the one who always protected them not so long ago before even former referee Sylvester Ndaba came on our TV screens to do the job.

On Monday, the ever diplomatic Ndaba looked like a man who could easily have said: "Enough is enough, guys. Stop your nonsense forthwith."

The fans, who are football's number one customer, rightly feel short-changed by most referees, who are forever defended even if they sometimes bring soccer into disrepute with their ridiculous, ill-informed decisions.

In the incidents that led to Modisane and Comitis' outbursts, the referees and or their assistants made costly blunders.

Jerome Damon is a Fifa World Cup referee, meaning that he is well respected for doing a sterling job - on a good day. But the man has had too many bad days in the office, such that he rarely inspires confidence any more.

As for the mafikizolo called Victor Hlungwani, he can only blame himself for being called names by those who saw him yellow-card the wrong player, Nazeer Allie. That act resulted in Allie earning an undeserved second booking, which resulted in a red card.

By the way, our daring Damon also imagined things when he wrongfully yellow-carded Lucky Lekgwathi and also awarded Mamelodi Sundowns a match- winning penalty. Shame on you guys!

Then on Sunday, as if intimidated by recent events, Matthew Dyer, who handled the Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs match, seemingly came to the stadium without his yellow and red cards. The man just allowed players to foul each other at will.

Much as the outcome of the matches handled by Damon and Hlungwani cannot be reversed, it would have made sense if Ndaba recommended to their review committee as early as Tuesday to have Allie's and Lekgwathi's suspensions nullified.

Nevertheless, someone needs to stop the reign of terror by these football pitch goons.


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