By: Isaac Ndou
Since the current season commenced, referees have received multiple criticism from coaches, player and fans for their officiating, leaving it wide open as a subject of discussion on whether something should be done about it or coaches are just playing the blame game.
Some of the coaches such as Pitso Mosimane and Benni McCarthy have received punishment for their antics with referees. Earlier in the season, Benni McCarthy appeared before the PSL DC for calling Philip Tinyani a “cow”. Pitso Mosimane was sent to the stands by Victor Gomes, something he did not understand himself.
Other coaches in the league like Eric Tinkler, Cavin Johnson, Steve Kompela, Gavin Hunt, Mushin Ertugral, Luc Eymael and more have already voiced out their dissatisfaction on refereeing, leaving the PSL DC not knowing what to do about those opinions or else they would have ended up fining all coaches. If many people are singing the same tune, SAFA should look into it because there might be actually a problem with referees abusing their power.
When criticism regarding referees arises, one name that is often on subject is Victor Gomes who has this season showed more boldness than ever before to making decisions without thinking twice. Gomes is one man you don’t want to mess with in the field as he has cemented his reputation as a referee who does not shy away from flashing red cards as if it’s Christmas and awards penalties like it means nothing to the outcomes of the game. After each game Gomes officiates, there should be unhappy people complaining about his decisions.
The South African Football Associating has been mum on the issues and it seems the more they keep quiet, the more it gets out of hand, leading to stakeholders brainstorming for solutions for themselves as they no longer know what to do. Some have suggested that referees should go back to refereeing school and be reminded what it means to be a referee and some suggest the current group of referees should be dismissed as they keep costing teams dismally.
If the governing body does not intervene sooner than later, South African football will reach a position where no coach will be able to digest a result against them as they will go on looking for points against referees to justify their unfavourable result as it is slowly becoming a norm.