Match officials suspended after awarding a controversial penalty to Chiefs in match against AmaZulu

06 October 2021 - 18:48
Match referee Jelly Chavani is questioned by AmaZulu players during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images Match referee Jelly Chavani is questioned by AmaZulu players during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs.

Match officials Jelly Chavani and Moeketsi Molelekoa  have been suspended after  awarding a controversial penalty to Kaizer Chiefs in the last minutes their league match against AmaZulu at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

The penalty in the referee’s optional time saved Chiefs from defeat and they sneaked to a last-gasp 1-1 stalemate with AmaZulu.

Referee Chavani  judged AmaZulu defender Mbongeni Gumede to have handled inside the area, handing Keagan Dolly an opportunity to snatch a priceless point after beating Veli Mothwa from the penalty spot.

The SA Football Association (Safa) Referees Review Committee confirmed in a statement on Wednesday evening that the officials would be suspended.

The statement said the committee met on Monday to analyse the decisions made during the game and discussed the performance of the match officials. 

“Jelly Chavani and the fourth official, Moeketsi Molelekoa, by erring, have been found guilty of executing their duties in an unacceptable manner and have duly been suspended from officiating in matches in the Glad Africa 1st Division and DStv Premiership for six weeks,” the statement read.

“During this time, the Safa Referees Technical Sub-Committee will oversee the rehabilitation of these match officials, to ensure that they are fully debriefed and better equipped in future.”

The committee warned that should the officials continue to commit more errors, further action will be taken against them.

“Safa will continue to require high standards from its match officials and while acknowledging this was a refereeing error, match officials must accept that if they err to this extent, there must be consequences,” the organisation says.

The committee noted the following, with specific reference to the incident that occurred in the 90+3 minutes :

  • The match officials, with specific reference to the referee, erred in his overall game management of the penalty area incident;
  • The referee and the fourth official erred in their interpretation and application of the laws of the game with specific reference to considerations and guidelines pertaining to handball as covered under Law 12 of the IFAB Laws of the Game.

As such:

  • The overall result of the game had been altered because of this error of judgment; AmaZulu FC were unduly prejudiced by this decision.

Referees have come under fire recently following a spate of bad decisions.

Football supporters have been vocal on social media, wondering whether referees are being influenced by outside forces.