Indaba to develop SA refs

Meshack Motloung

The South African Football Association (Safa) national referees committee will meet on in Johannesburg on Thursday to map the way forward for the development of the match officials.

This was said by Kirsten Nematandani, Safa national referees committee (NRC) chairman last week.

He said the referees' panel for the new season was not put in place yet because they were waiting for the fitness test to be completed.

Nematandani said if a referee failed the test he or she will be given another chance to improve.

He added that female referees were coming through the development programme and some of them were in the panel.

Those in the panel are Deidre Mitchell, Baitsi Manta and Titi Makantiso.

Nematandani, who is working hand in hand with Carlos Henriques, the referees development officer, said a week-long refresher course will be conducted in Johannesburg next month and and, after that, it will be all systems go because the league will be kicking off.

Asked about disturbing incidents last season in which some players were subjected to bone-crushing tackles, some handling the ball inside the box and where a penalty was awarded without any infringement.

He said they were concerned about that, adding that the Referees Review Committee was working on eliminating such infringments and hopefully there will be an improvement in the new season.

"I'm still new in this department, but I am optimistic that we'll do well when the season kicks off. We have to bear in mind that referees are also human beings and also make mistakes.

"So we need to support them and encourage them in their duties. Having said that, the review committee will continue to review all the games and call in the culprits to explain if there are any infringements."

The NRC will also meet to discuss issues such as the amendment of the laws by the Federation International Football Associations.

"We'll also be discussing normal issues that include minutes of the last meeting, reports and so forth. And we'll also convene three more meetings before the season ends to get reports on what progress has been made in refereeing," he said.

Nematandani added that players need to be educated at all levels about the rules of the game to try to eradicate unnecessary remonstrations when the game is in progress.

"That will be of great value to the teams and to the supporters at large."

He added that retired referees were welcome to come back because they would contribute to the game with their experience.

Some of the retired referees can become instructors, assessors and administrators and that is what Nematandani wants.