Fearful ref abandons match

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

There was more controversy in the Limpopo Vodacom Promotional League on Sunday with the abandonment of the match between Peace Lovers and Bahwiti.

Referee Micca Mashilo called off the match at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the 51st minute fearing for his safety after he sent off Bahwiti's defender Thuso Makola for an off-the-ball incident.

Makola was removed from the ground by Lovers' officials after he resisted being sent off.

The referee had no alternative but to call the match off after Bahwiti were reluctant to continue playing because they were unhappy with his decisions, including two penalties awarded to Lovers.

The latter were leading 2-0 when the match was abandoned.

"There is little we can say about the referees because once you talk about them, your club will be victimized," Jacky Mogashoa, Bahwiti's boss told Sowetan yesterday.

Sunday's match was the fifth to be abandoned in the province, after the match between Mighty FC and Lephalale Young Killers on Friday.

The other abandoned matches were between Lovers and Killers, Bahwiti and Killers, and Mighty and Lovers.

Two weeks ago Peter Maluleke sold his club, Mokopane FC to Koti Mokoalakoala, a Seshego businessman, citing corruption among referees as one of the problems.

"The only way to address the problem of the referees is for the club owners and match officials to take responsibility for their actions," Kirsten Nematandani, chairman of Safa's national referees committee, said yesterday.

"We have convened separate meetings with club owners and match officials on Sunday in Polokwane, wherein these issues will be addressed."

Jeff Monnakgotla, Safa's acting director of competitions, said they were waiting for the match report but promised to address the problem.