Safa Review Committee acknowledge refereeing error during Cape Town City clash

Once again the standard of officiating has been thrown into the spotlight

The South African Football Association's Referee Review Committee has acknowledged that the referee had made a mistake in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash involving Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits.

The Citizens suffered a 2-0 loss to the Students after falling behind early courtesy of a penalty as Wits forward Simon Murray was adjudged to have been brought down in the box.

However, Safa’s Review Committee has since acknowledged that there was a mistake on the referee’s part but maintains that they cannot take action despite City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh having picked up a yellow card for his troubles due to the referee's interpretation of the incident.

“The Review Committee reviewed the incident and clearly, there was no contact between the Cape Town City goalkeeper and Bidvest Wits player, who fell on his own,” the statement issued by Safa’s Review Committee read.

“The referee erred in awarding the penalty and cautioning the goalkeeper. The correct decision should have been an indirect free-kick against Bidvest Wits, as well as a yellow card to the Bidvest Wits player for simulation,” it added.

“The yellow card was not shown to a wrong player (mistaken identity), and as such the Review Committee does not have the authority to rescind it,” the statement added.

Benni McCarthy’s men will certainly feel hard done by as the defeat came just days after they clinched their maiden MTN8 crown by overthrowing SuperSport United in the final.

Meanwhile, City responded to the ruling on Twitter.

“The review committee has, once again, confirmed that an incorrect decision was made against Cape Town City that influenced the result of a league match,” the club said on their social media account.

“The report confirms that simulation was performed by Bidvest Wits striker Simon Murray to incorrectly receive a penalty, after no contact. The referee should not have awarded the penalty, should have booked Murray and not Leeuwenburgh,” the statement by the club continued.

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“Unfortunately, like the Putsche-Masehe incident, the league and SAFA do not have the platform to rectify (retrospectively) such severe errors - leaving Cape Town City with more erroneous results at the hands of refereeing mistakes,” the club lamented.