Ace Ncobo to help revive refs

The SA Football Association (Safa) is on the verge of unveiling former PSL referee Ace Ncobo as part of its referees' committee to help resuscitate the under-fire structure.

Ian McLeod, the caretaker head of the match officials' body, told Sowetan yesterday that Ncobo's appointment was on the cards but "it was still a process that needs to be signed off".

"We need to utilise all our experienced officials," he said.

Ncobo, 50, confirmed being approached to join, news that comes in the wake of Safa sanctioning two match officials this week.

Referee Cedrick Mavhali and his assistant Patrick Jafta were handed a three-month ban for poor officiating in the league match between Cape Town City and Polokwane City last month. The home side was denied a clear goal but awarded a dubious penalty that resulted in City's 1-0 win at Cape Town Stadium.

Mavhali and Jafta fortfeited their match fees and monthly stipends for the period of their suspension. Sowetan has reliably learnt that a PSL referee's match fee is about R5300, while their assistants get R4100, all before tax, after the latest adjustment.

The stipend was R3 750.

Commenting as a neutral, Ncobo said one needs the "mentality of a soldier to be a referee".

"The fraternity needed to make a statement and these guys took one for the battalion. But from a psychological point of view, there is a sense of embarrassment."

McLeod said Muvhali and Jafta were "not out in the cold" as they will officiate in the ABC Motsepe League.

"They are not going to sit at home because we are taking corrective measures so that they learn from their mistakes. They will get their match fees but not at the level of the PSL, obviously."

Muvhali's close associates said the demotion was a big blow for him as he solely depends on refereeing to make ends meet.

"They are destroying the life of a referee simply because he made a mistake," argued a referee who asked to remain anonymous.