Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
THE furore surrounding referee Harry Lekitlane's handling of last week's match between Kaizer Chiefs and Santos has left many football fans across the country wondering why match officials recently stopped using earpieces.
Alpha Mchunu, chairperson of the Safa referees' committee, said all the communication devices - designed to improve on-field communication between match officials - had been taken back to the manufacturers for a service.
"These devices need to be tested from time to time," Mchunu told Sowetan yesterday.
"We detected a problem with them after they had been used and that is why we had to take them back to the manufacturers for service."
He said they would be checking on the progress of the service today "but I am hopeful that after two weeks they'll be ready for use".
One of the problems is thought to be the devices' limited battery life.
"Our view is that they should be able to work even if the match goes to extra time, not only for 90 minutes," Mchunu said.
Steve Goddard, acting head of the referee's department, confirmed that they had experienced technical problems with the recently introduced earpieces.
"The devices were malfunctioning. On top of the technical problems, they also had problems with the batteries," Goddard said.
"At the moment those problems are being attended to and hopefully they will be back in use again very soon."
Goddard would not divulge how much would be spent on servicing the devices.