End is nigh for arrogant referees

It is quite fulfilling to realise that there is still a rare breed in our football, people who listen, after all.

It is quite fulfilling to realise that there is still a rare breed in our football, people who listen, after all.

Added to that is the fact that this breed also admits some of its failings.

It is the Premier Soccer League (PSL), to be precise, which admitted this week through chief executive Trevor Phillips that it was having endless headaches because of inconsistent referees.

The PSL has now taken the initiative to lead the way in paying for an exclusive remedial indaba for match officials in Johannesburg.

To its credit the league did not wait for excuses from mother body tSouth African Football Association (Safa) about the scarcity of funds to address the burning issue of referees as a matter of urgency.

This move also seems to suggest that the PSL does not believe in the myth that Safa's commercial wing has millions stashed somewhere, as we have been desperately told before.

Phillips alluded: "Look, I am already spending R10 million on refereeing so we basically require only half.

"We can raise R6 million from sponsors and I think with a strong educational and development component, we can find R4 million lying in some government department."

Anyway, referees are by and large controlled by Safa.

It's also pleasing to hear that Phillips has proposed that a technical committee be formed that will also be empowered to look at all referees' affairs.

That committee will have to oversee the current review panel.

Among other things to improve the situation, the review panel must attend to disputes within hours of matches in question.

This, in a nutshell, means after viewing some video clips the bookings of players could be cancelled, if need be. Referees, on the other hand, would also have to face the consequences of their ineptitude.

Last week Sports Indaba raised an issue about referees who sometimes throw the basics of their job out of the window, so to speak.

In a match between Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates on Saturday night referee Ace Ncobo gave us an example of such acts.

Ncobo was in no man's land when striker Mulondo Sikhwivhilu of Pirates jostled Patrick Mabedi of Swallows, thus disadvantaging him possession of the ball.

While that happened, Jabu Mahlangu responded by slamming in a beauty, adding to the tally for a 2-0 Bucs win.

A livid Birds coach, Gavin Hunt, said his piece about Ncobo's inconsistency.

Let's hope Monday's indaba is not going to turn into some time-wasting prayer meeting.

By the way, talk is rife in shebeens, buses, taxis, trains and during after-tears gatherings that dishonest club bosses are equally to blame for the alleged match-fixing scam.

Some club officials actually say (in whispers) a certain "Mr Slush Funds", or is it "Smooth Operator", is wreaking havoc.

Sources close to the main man say it won't be easy for any one to nail the bugger because he uses vela bahleke to avoid exposure. We mame!

Methinks time is ripe to rope in my Italian friend, Inspector Spaghetti from Sicily to sort out this Mzansi refereeing scam.

l Listening to soccer commentary by "ZZ" can be real fun at times. The deep-voiced one, Zama Masondo, really livens up any match and I think SuperSport were smart to rope him in.

Phrases like, "ishotielincane", are common - and to emphasise his point he would add, "ishoti le nkhuku", describing a weak shot in a tiny voice;

l Our good wishes go with the Proteas in their endeavour to win the Cricket World Cup in the West Windies. To captain Graeme Smith and the lads we say: "Smoke them Boys."