flying a new flag

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Isaac Arendse, a former assistant referee in the Premiership, wants to assist in the development of match officials, now that he has finally hung up his flag.

Arendse, a Cape Town school teacher, was forced to retire after reaching the age of 47, which is the cutoff age for match officials, according to world soccer governing body Fifa .

The national executive committee member of the South African Schools Football Association (Safsa) turned 47 on April 2.

Arendse bowed out in spectacular fashion by officiating during the Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Mpumalanga Black Aces three weeks ago.

"There was no way I could have asked for a more perfect way of bowing out than officiating in one of the richest club tournaments on the continent," said Arendse.

"It has been great working as a match official in South African soccer.

"It's time for me to give the youngsters a chance too to officiate at a higher level.

"But it is a disappointing that we have very few youngsters coming through the development ranks, which is why I want to assist in the development of referees.

"I know everybody is talking about the 2010 World Cup legacy projects; we also need to pay more attention to the development of referees.

"Naturally, I will be a match commissioner now that I have reached the age of 47, but will consider making a comeback if there is such a request."

Arendse, who has also handled the World Schools Cup final in Denmark in 2005, started refereeing in Cape Town in 1980.

That was after hanging up his soccer boots.

"At first it was a bit tough for us because the referees did not get any protection; people would just storm the field if a decision did not favour their club," he added.