Match officials face suspension

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Three of the five match officials who officiated during the Telkom Knockout final between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium last Saturday night, would be suspended and 20 percent docked from their match fees.

Referees Committee chairman Kirsten Nematendani said the officials - referee Abdul Ebrahim, the fourth official Lwandile Mfiki and the match Commisioner Robert Pillay were the ones taken to task.

This emerged after the final when penalties were to be taken. The officials allowed Sundowns to bring in Patrick Apataki to take one of the kicks when he did not play either in regulation time of the game or in extra time.

It was evident that nobody knew about the entire incident. Even the Chiefs players were unaware that Apataki was not supposed to take the kick.

But the Referees Review Committee's findings are among others:

That three match officials were directly involved in the decision to allow the taking of the penalty kicks and the Review found no mitigating circumstances in the decisions that were taken.

The officials concerned being the match referee, the fourth official and the match commissioner.

The two assistants were involved in another conversation with the team officials at the time the substitution took place and did not fully realise what transpired until the kicks were concluded and are therefore exonerated.

Under the code of professional ethics for Safa Referees, match referee Ebrahim, match commissioner Pillay and fourth official Mfiki have transgressed some sections of the code.

The match Referee and the Match Commissioner will each serve a seven-day suspension to start on December 13-19 and the fine will equate to 20 percent of their match fees.

The fourth official Mfiki will serve a 14 day suspension having failed to adhere to conditions laid down in a previous finding by the Review Committee on November 23.