Safa explains why refs were not part of PSL awards

You can't rush us, says Motlanthe

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
South African Football Association CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.
South African Football Association CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The SA Football Association (Safa) has reasoned it had to wait for the last day of the season before providing the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with the nominees and winners in the referee and assistant referee categories at the league’s awards.

Just a few hours before the pre-recorded virtual award ceremony was aired on television on Sunday night, the PSL explained in a brief statement that Safa didn’t give them the names of match officials who were to be honoured in time.

“The SA Football Association was unfortunately not able to provide the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with the nominees and winners in the referee and assistant referee categories in time to record these for the PSL awards event this evening,” read the PSL statement.

Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe has moved swiftly to explain why they submitted the names of match officials to the league late, insisting it was going to be unprofessional to provide the PSL with the names while the season wasn’t yet concluded. The season finale was on Saturday.

“The reason we gave them [the PSL] the names [of nominees and winners] late is very simple. When you still have last games to play, you can’t give out names,” Motlanthe argued yesterday.

“If we put your name out [as a match official] and in the last game you make one mistake ... we can’t defend that. So, what we’re saying is that we told them long ago that we’d give them after the end of the last game and that's what has been done.’’

The PSL cited the Covid-19 regulatory framework as the main reason for pre-recording the awards.

Motlanthe has also not taken kindly to the PSL’s decision to share the story with the media, revealing they wanted the names three weeks ago.

“You can’t use virtual platforms to rush us. We’ve responded to them, by the way and told them they’re being dishonest by sharing this with the media. We’ve always given them names after the last game and stuck to that again this season,” said the Safa CEO.

“They wanted names three weeks back and we said ‘no, it’s still early, the games are not finished’. We can’t use virtual platforms to take big decisions which will come back to bite us. We were responsible.’’

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