Jibiliza vows to fight to reclaim his glory

DETERMINED: Safa referee Siphiwe Jibiliza. Pic. Kopano Tlape. © Sowetan.
DETERMINED: Safa referee Siphiwe Jibiliza. Pic. Kopano Tlape. © Sowetan.

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

South African Football Association referee Siphiwo Jibiliza is determined to bounce back and claim his rightful place among the country's top assistant whistlemen.

Jibiliza was sent back to South Africa with referee Jerome Damon and assistant Enock Molefe from the Fifa Under-20 World Cup, after Jibiliza failed a fitness test conducted before the start of the tournament.

But the Eastern Cape-based match official proved most critics wrong when he passed a similar test conducted by the Safa Referees Committee in flying colours at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria this week.

"I don't know what went wrong in Canada. After the incident I was depressed and disappointed when I thought of my family and South African citizens," said Jibiliza.

"But I firmly believe that I will bounce back. God is on my side."

His colleagues in refereeing Damon and Ace Ncobo said they did not believe that Jibiliza failed the fitness test, stating that something wrong must have happened to him on the day.

"He rose like a phoenix and passed the same fitness test in flying colours at the Safa referees seminar which shows that he will do well in the game in future," they said.

National Referees Committee chairman, Kirsten Nematandani, said they had written to Fifa , requesting the medical report, and were still waiting.

"Jibiliza has proven to all of us during the seminar that he was fit.

"But it would appear that what happened to Jibiliza in Canada is related to a medical condition. He is in the referees panel.

"He is not in the Fifa panel at the moment, but if he's called to officiate at international matches, he will go through the Fifa test again," he said.