Bad refereeing calls doesn't mean the standard is low in the PSL - Tsichlas

Abdul Basit Ebrahim, Safa Head of Referees, January 2020
A number of top-flight league referees have come under fire for making controversial decisions this season

The South African Football Association Referees Committee chair Natasha Tsichlas says errors made by match officials handling the Premier Soccer League do not necessarily constitute low refereeing standards in general.

The latest controversial decision was the disallowing of what looked like a Bloemfontein Celtic legitimate goal during Tuesday’s league match against Mamelodi Sundowns.

The game ended 0-0 with Thokozani Mkhize the centre referee while Lalelani Mingadi and Mncwango Andile were the linesmen.

“Yes, we might have had a few bad calls here and there by some officials but that does not amount to a blanket low standard of refereeing,’’ Tsichlas told the Safa website.

‘’We review all matches and results are provided, in most cases, the following day and where an official is guilty, we sanction that individual without fear or favour. The Review Committee is made up of knowledgeable individuals and one of them is renowned referee, Chris Harrison whose career was cut short by an injury. He is also a respected attorney.

“These are difficult times, our officials are trying their best but that doesn’t mean we can condone poor officiating.”

Apart from the bad calls by referees, they have also stolen the limelight by allegedly officiating without getting tested for the coronavirus.

Safa recently came under fire for deploying their match officials for duty without being tested despite South Africa experiencing a second wave of infections driven by a rapidly-spreading Covid-19 strain.

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“It is true that the referees haven't been testing for Covid-19, the last time they tested was during the bio-bubble,” Safa Head of Referees Abdul Ebrahim told Marawa Sport Worldwide earlier this month.

“There’s always going to be a risk involved if the sport needs to continue then that's something that needs to be looked at. It is a huge concern, we take our lead from our medical department. We should be talking all the time with the medical department. If I were to give a personal opinion, I would advise everyone to lock themselves up at home.

“It is important that everybody involved gets tested for Covid-19. It’s concerning and alarming and I am sure we will hear from the joint-liaison team on a way forward.”