Football is an interesting sport. It is fascinating watching players take each other on and battle for whatever's at stake. The referee plays a vital role in mediating and ensuring that both teams stick to the rules of the game, as well as making sure that no cheating takes place.
However, it becomes another issue when the "man in the middle" decides the game. The referee is not deployed to influence results. It is painful for football lovers to pay their hard-earned money to go to the stadiums and watch their favourite teams play, only for the results to be jeopardised by poor officiating.
If you watched the match between Maritzburg United and Golden Arrows on Wednesday, you'll know exactly what I mean. This wasn't the only game during which poor refereeing was on display. What does this say about the level of football in our country?
It is a contagious disease that has spread across the whole continent, witnessed every single time our teams participate in continental competition, and it has been part of the game for many years. Poor officiating is derailing the progress of our football, both in the country and on the continent.
Our football's governing bodies should impose harsh penalties on those who are found guilty of wrongdoing. The referees should stand up and be counted as well. They have to take responsibility for their actions. It is not known whether or not some of the poor decisions are encouraged by monetary benefits, but that's where the top officials of our football should step in… unless the whole system is shady.
What do you make of the standard of refereeing in our country? What do you think SAFA should do in order to improve the state of officiating in our football? Have your say below.