Mokoena sees red over ref

FREE State Stars chairperson Mike Mokoena is angry that one referee has handled four of his club's matches this season.

FREE State Stars chairperson Mike Mokoena is angry that one referee has handled four of his club's matches this season.

The referee in question is Robert Sithole.

Mokoena expressed his disenchantment to Sowetan last week and revealed that he had written a formal letter of complaint to the PSL's chief executive, Kjetil Siem, over the issue.

Sowetan contacted PSL general manager Ace Ncobo about the developments but the former referee referred our queries to the referees' appointment committee chairperson, Ari Soldatos.

Soldatos said: "I was informed that Mr Mokoena has written a letter to the PSL chief executive Kjetil Siem and I have replied to the league's general manager,Ace Ncobo.

"(But) clubs do not decide who officiates in their matches. We were within our rights to appoint Robert Sithole for all those games. Robert was indeed in charge of four of their matches but they were not consecutive.

"We take into account what clubs complain about but at the end of the day we make the decisions."

Sithole officiated in Stars' league matches against Bloemfontein Celtic on August 9, Moroka Swallows on August 30 and Jomo Cosmos on September 12. He also handled the side's MTN8 Cup tie against Lamontville Golden Arrows on August 5.

Fumed Mokoena: "How is it possible that only one referee is in charge of four matches in such a short space of time? The man has not been totally fair to us."

The Stars boss said they drew with Cosmos after a goal was disallowed.

"Our goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene rescued us against Cosmos when he saved what was clearly a dubious penalty."

Stars lost to Swallows and drew with Bloemfontein Celtic.

"We then lost to Arrows in the cup match. There were some dubious decisions in some of the matches in which this man officiated. I just find the whole thing bizarre."

Soldatos described Sithole as a "good referee".

"I trust him. He spilled the beans in the alleged match-fixing involving City Pillars and OR Tambo Cosmos in 2007."

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