'Horrible' ref calls need quick reviews
The snail's pace with which the SA Football Association's (Safa) review committee on refereeing deals with disputed decisions is the main reason why many see this body as toothless.
That's the view of former Premier Soccer League (PSL) top referee Ace Ncobo, who has described some of the calls seen in less than eight rounds of league games as "horrible".
Ncobo highlighted technology as one tool that Safa could use to send quicker messages to the public indicating that the committee actually does deal swiftly with some of the disputed rulings made by referees.
"The committee is there and actually does some work. What's the concern for everyone is the turnaround time it takes to make those decisions public," said Ncobo. "With all the technology and communications tools we have now, I struggle to understand why the decisions of the committee are not taken and made public as quickly as possible."
Questions on the effectiveness of this committee came into sharp focus this week as referees deployed by Safa to handle PSL matches continued to make decisions that left some coaches fearing for their jobs.
"They [officials] are not aware that these kind of decisions cost the coach's job. They'll be going home smiling but I'll be losing my job," protested Polokwane City head coach Bernard Molekwa after his team lost 1-0 to Cape Town City in a match in which referee Cedric Muvhali and his assistant Patrick Jafta made a number of questionable calls.
According to Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble, the review committee sits twice a week - on Tuesday and Thursday - dealing with all the reports of the matches played. By Mumble's admission, the outcomes of their reviews could be made quicker.
"It has always been my view that we must make the outcomes of the review public quicker. I will do a follow-up because I also want to know why these decisions are not communicated to the public," said Mumble.
On the horrors of the Friday match - Polokwane versus Cape Town - and the one incident involving Bidvest Wits striker Gabadihno Mhango, seen spitting in the face of AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton last week in Durban, Mumble said the committee is dealing with those cases and they will make their decision "public" soon.
In the Cape Town City versus Polokwane City match, referee Muvhali and his assistant Jafta ruled out Cape Town striker Lehlohonolo Majoro's goal for offside.
After seeing Jafta's flag raised, Muvhali blew his whistle, but Majoro scores upon seeing a Polokwane player behind the goalkeeper. The referee's second reaction was to indicate a goal, but after being shoved and pulled by Polokwane players, he changes his mind again and gives a drop ball.
In eight minutes of stoppage time, Muvhali awards a disputed penalty to Cape Town and Majoro scores. City win 1-0.