error ref gets rehab
He might still be suspended from refereeing, but controversial Absa Premiership and Fifa referee Abdul Ebrahim is forced to attend a three-day referees' course in Pretoria this week.
The course, which is being organised by the South African Football Association (Safa) to stimulate match officials, starts at the High Performance Centre on Friday.
Ebrahim was suspended after he incorrectly gave Bloemfontein Celtic's forward Geoffrey Sserunkuma a red card in their 0-3 defeat by Orlando Pirates in the semifinal of the Telkom Knockout in Durban on November 29.
Ebrahim was suspended together with Yusuf Vawda, the man he consulted before sending off Sserunkuma.
Vawda was a fourth official in that encounter and is to also attend the course.
Sserunkuma's suspension was later rescinded by Safa's review committee.
Vawda's suspension ends on January 14, while Ebrahim is expected back at the end of the month.
But the duo will not officiate elite league games as they will need to negotiate their way back to the Premiership through the National First Division.
Kirsten Nematandani, Safa's national referees' committee chairman, confirmed to Sowetan yesterday that Ebrahim and Vawda were obliged to attend the course.
"Their suspension does not mean that they should not attend courses organised for match officials," Nematandani said.
"These courses are crucial for them and will help all the referees rectify their mistakes. Ebrahim is a Fifa-accredited referee and his mistakes show that everybody can err in this game. Though we are trying hard to ensure that our referees strive for perfection, we can't crucify them for making mistakes. We can only help them to be more accurate."
He said they will refresh match officials with the latest Fifa rules on the game.
The referees' boss is adamant their match officials will face up to the challenge in the second round of the Premiership.
The Premiership programme recommences on January 7 after the festive break.
There will only be one match on the day that pits log leaders and Ziwa Mo kings Ajax Cape Town against fifth-placed Santos in a Cape derby at Athlone Stadium at 7.30pm.