July 13, 2024

Abdul Ebrahim: ‘Analysts On TV Are Not Current With The Laws Of The Game’

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Due to a series of poor decisions, referees have come under immense pressure.

FILE PHOTO: There is no refereeing crisis in the country. PICTURE: Gallo Images

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JOHANNESBURG: They analyse referees’ decisions on Supersport’s Extra Time and the SABC Soccer Zone respectively.

The South African Football Association’s (SAFA) head of referees Abdul Ebrahim has rubbished claims that there is a refereeing crisis in the game in South Africa.

Fans, the media and coaches alike have been calling on SAFA to introduce a video assistant referee (VAR) in South Africa because the men and women in charge of the whistle are not doing a good job, thus harming football in the country.

Speaking to KickOff Magazine, Ebrahim said, “There is no refereeing crisis in the country, whoever makes that comment is irresponsible. We are all human and we all make mistakes.” Not mincing his words, he added: “You see the TV analysts who analyse on Monday night are not current with the laws of the game and how we analyse.”

He is, of course, referring to Ace Ncobo and Victor Hlongwane, both of whom are former FIFA referees who had plied their trade in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). They analyse referees’ decisions on Supersport’s Extra Time and the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Soccer Zone respectively.

The referees have been the talking point of late due to questionable and/ or misunderstood calls. The spotlight on poor refereeing has been exacerbated by the fact that the SAFA refereeing committee sits every Monday to review their decisions as well.

The committee has sanctioned a few referees for poor performance, including Luxolo Badi, who is serving a four-week suspension for poor officiating during an MTN8 semi-final second leg between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns. Badi failed to award Amakhosi a penalty or penalties, resulting in their exit from the tournament, eventually won by their archrivals, Orlando Pirates.

Due to a series of poor decisions, referees have come under immense pressure and SAFA needs to take corrective measures before it is too late. It is a well-known fact that referees’ mistakes cost teams a lot. Even if punitive measures are taken against them, they do not serve aggrieved parties as points are gone or the cup is gone. In some cases, a coach loses his job.

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