Several match officials have missed the cut to officiate in the upcoming 2013/2014 Premier Soccer League season.
The officials were part of a group of referees, assistant referees and referees assessors (match commissioners) who attended a week-long FIFA workshop in Johannesburg.
The workshop started on Monday (15 July) at SAFA House and came to an end on Friday, 19 July 2013.
The match officials who did not make it after failing fitness tests are:
1. Lebohang Daniels
2. Lwandile Mfiki
3. Jerome Damone
4. Zolile Mthetho
5. Tshepo Maila
6. Khululekani Thusi
1. Thembisile Windvoel
2. Mantuse Nayo
3. Thulani Ntombela
4. Andrew Rezeers
1. Noleen Daniels
2. Lufuno Nemagovhani
During the fitness tests, the officials were under the watchful eye of Tracy Henriques, the FIFA-assigned physical trainer.
The match officials who did not make it will have to wait for six weeks before they can redo the tests.
Three FIFA-accredited officials - Mfiki, Windvoel and Nemagovhani - will have to travel outside the country – at their cost – to redo the test at a FIFA workshop.
The next FIFA test is on Wednesday, 14 August in Zimbabwe, but they don’t qualify as it falls inside the six weeks so they will have to wait for the one that follows.
The aim of the workshop was to introduce the referees to the new amendments of the FIFA laws of the game ahead of the start of the 2013/2014 PSL season.
The referees and assistant referees underwent fitness tests while the match commissioners were equipped with skills to improve their level of assessing matches and writing reports.
Carlos Henriques, a FIFA instructor, conducted the workshop.
"These workshops are work in progress, however I was expecting better results from the fitness tests. It was a bit of a letdown to see international referees fail the fitness test. With that said, it is not all gloomy as I have seen some improvement from the other match officials because we are always trying to raise the bar for referees in South Africa. Going forward we will meet with the referees’ technical committee to put down suggestions to assist the national referees make further improvements," said Henriques.
The Chairperson of the Referees’ Committee, Lucas Nhlapo, hasn’t lost hope though.
“The good thing is that the majority of the match officials have passed, and we have been given the assurance that they will undergo retests in the second week of September and I am confident they will do well and return to the panel. We are happy with the way the workshop went, and I am quite positive they will do a great job in the new season,” said Nhlapo.
SAFA's acting head of the referees department, Ace Kika, was impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by both referees and match assessors during the course.
"I was impressed by the levels of enthusiasm and commitment given. This gives me hope that things will be done differently this season and communication amongst all sectors of refereeing will improve drastically because this is one of the key issues that is being addressed at the workshop. We hope that through this workshop, we will see consistency in the interpretation of the laws of the game and receive timely feedback from the match assessors,” said Kika.