Officials accused of favouritism
The conduct of match officials handling PSL matches has come into sharp focus over the past few weeks and the South African Football Association (Safa) referees review committee has had its hands full following accusations that some clubs are getting favours from referees.
The latest saga involves two Absa Premiership matches, one between second from the bottom of the log AmaZulu and leaders Kaizer Chiefs, which Amakhosi won 2-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban last Tuesday.
The second is the match between Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns at Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday.
The Brazilians won the game 2-1.Third-placed Downs coach Pitso Mosimane contends that his team should have been awarded a penalty in their encounter against Lidoda Duvha.
Mosimane, who usually does not mince his words, claimed this week that Chiefs were receiving favourable decisions from referees. He made the damning allegations during a post-match interview.
The defending champions’ coach was livid his side wasn’t awarded a penalty for a handball, alluding that Chiefs benefited from a penalty for a similar offence when they defeated Golden Arrows 2-0 on Tuesday.
“When it’s Chiefs, it’s always a penalty, it was a penalty [for] Chiefs yesterday [Tuesday]. I must get a penalty also, I must benefit. I will talk even if we lose. We had to manage the game, just manage it until it finished”.
It is not clear whether Mosimane will be hurled before the PSL’s disciplinary committee as his comments could be construed as bringing the league into disrepute.
Safa’s chairperson of the referees appointments committee Ari Soldatos told Sunday World they have suspended assistant match official Mervyn van Wyk for ruling Usuthu’s two legitimate goals against Amakhosi offside while referee Cedric Muvhali, who handled the Sundowns-Leopards game, has his case coming under review this week.
Usuthu scored twice through Ovidy Karuru and Bonginkosi Ntuli but both strikes were disallowed as they were judged to have been scored from offside positions.
Soldatos said after reviewing all the evidence before them, it came to light that the offside incidents were invalid. He confirmed Van Wyk had been removed from the panel and any future matches he was scheduled to officiate.
“Mr Van Wyk has been removed from officiating all Premiership and National First Division matches,” Soldatos said.
“His nomination to the Fifa panel of referees for 2020 has been withdrawn and he will not be getting any exposure or money in the form of remuneration from an international perspective, as is the case when working here in SA and abroad.”
Soldatos further said the review committee would be sitting in the next few days to determine an appropriate sanction for Van Wyk and whether or not he should be returned to the Safa panel of match officials.
In the Leopards-Downs case, Soldatos said the matter was due to be reviewed in the coming week, as the committee had not sat following Sundowns’ appeal for a penalty that was not awarded by referee Cedric Muvhali.
“Mr Muvhali can only work as a fourth official at the moment. The reason is that we want to take the limelight off the official. We have been mandated to look into their conduct.”
By Xolile Mtshazo