EXTRA TIME: Tribute to late South African referee Ian McLeod

Ian McLeod
Paying tribute to the decorated former referee who passed away on Thursday, 26 October 2017

He was admitted to hospital on 15 October, a day after he returned from the match between Black Leopards and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Thohoyandou, Mumble said the game had lost an honest individual who had no time for pettiness.

McLeod was the match commissioner in the match between the two Venda clubs and upon his return felt sick.

He was rushed to hospital the following day by his wife and although his condition was described as on and off, he passed away on Thursday evening.

“Ian was a perfect gentleman, never angry with anyone and always smiling. He will be extremely missed by the entire football family. We are really saddened by the passing away of Ian,” said Mumble.

The SAFA CEO said the late McLeod was one of the few heavily decorated referees having been the first South African to officiate at a FIFA World Cup in 1998 in France. After hanging up his whistle, Ian continued to be involved in the game.

At the time of his death, he was part of the CAF club licensing instructors, was acting as SAFA’s head of referees and was greatly involved in the restructuring of the referees department together with other ex-officials.

McLeod was responsible in the appointment of all of the lower division’s match officials and was in the process of putting together a panel of officials to handle indoor football and (Futsal).

“This is a huge loss and the void left will be difficult to fill,” added Mumble.

“I had known Ian for over 20 years, we travelled together when we were doing the club licensing courses on the continent; this man was a gentleman through and through. We have lost an asset as a country. May his soul rest in peace,” said the SAFA CEO.