Tue. Jan 19th, 2021

PSL news: Safa comes down hard on match officials

Phelelani Ndaba, referee of the match during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City at Dr Molemela Stadium, Mangaung on 07 March 2018 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePixFollowing his handling of the controversial clash between Supersport United and Bidvest Wits, referee Phelelani Ndaba is one of five officials demoted by Safa.

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Several coaches’ prayers have been answered by the South African Football Association (Safa), who sanctioned a number of match officials for instances of bad refereeing throughout the season.

The league has come under fire in recent months over the standard of officiating in the PSL, with Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy and his Bidvest Wits counterpart Gavin Hunt among the more vocal critics.

On Friday afternoon, Safa issued out a statement detailing sanctions handed out to certain officials – most notably Phelelani Ndaba, who was in charge of the controversial clash between Supersport United and Wits, where he made some glaringly dubious calls.

“Referee Phelelani Ndaba who disallowed a Bidvest Wits legitimate goal during their recent encounter against Supersport United after consulting with the assistant referee, will not be appointed for all National Soccer League (NSL) matches with immediate effect,” Safa revealed in a statement.

South African Football Association

The match ended in a stalemate at 1-1 with United finishing with ten men after captain Dean Furman was sent off in what was also a questionable call.

According to Safa, Ndaba will not officiate a PSL game for the next three months, and has been assigned an instructor to deal with his limitations.

“A report will be submitted to the SAFA Referees Department on his performance in the Regional League matches before he is rehabilitated back into top flight football.”

South African Football Association

Another one who did not manage to escape the smoke is linesman Abel Maphutha, who’s howling error on the day ended up as the game’s biggest talking point.

Maphutha contributed to Wits being denied a clear goal, which could have been the crucial winner, as he advised Ndaba that Terrence Dzvukamanja’s shot had not crossed the line.

He has been banished to regional league football for three months, while Thokozani Mkhize – who is said to have made “a series of poor game-changing decisions” across the top flight and the first division has been demoted to the SAB and Sasol leagues for the same period as the former.

Two more referees in Elphas Sithole and John Landela have also been hit with sanctions, and will remain in lower leagues until next season.

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