Academy to groom refs

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Alexandra Football Association plans to use former professional referees to assist their planned academy to develop match officials in the area.

AFA, led by its president Moss Selolo, has approached former referees like Lawrence Monnathoko and Russell Mojapelo to spearhead the project.

Other former referees who are supporting the project include Moses Israel Mnguni, Moses Hleza and Reuben Kgatle, who is also involved in athletics development.

Selolo said South African Breweries has already pledged its support by donating equipment in the form of balls, whistles and uniforms.

"We all know that Alexandra is known for producing top referees, most of whom came from the clubs where they served as officials," he said.

"The referees' academy that we are planning will be based at the Alexandra Stadium, which is where our offices are located.

"Alexandra Stadium is appropriate because it is at the centre [of the township], easily accessible by residents in terms of public transport.

"We are targeting school children in this case and will be meeting the South African Schools Football Association to mobilise support.

"It is a known fact that not every youngster excels in [playing] soccer. We are going to recruit boys aged between 12 and 17 to groom them as referees.

"The development of referees is one category that many of us are neglecting, the focus has been more on those who are playing soccer. It is for that reason that we end up pleading with referees after reaching the international retirement age [45] to continue to [go on refereeing]."

He added that the project and the academy are 2010 World Cup legacy projects.