Bidvest Wits' Moeneeb Josephs calls for referee review body following MTN8 battle with Golden Arrows
Posted: 16 August 2017 Time: 16:20
Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs believes a referees' review committee is needed to take the PSL brand to the next level, following ugly scenes in their season-opening clash against Golden Arrows.
Wits and Arrows were on the receiving end of some dubious officiating, while referee Phillip Tinyane dished out six red cards as emotions flared and resulted in an overly-heated clash at the Bidvest Stadium last Friday.
Although The Clever Boys came out victorious via a penalty shootout, Josephs feels proceedings could have been handled a lot better by the four officials on the night and believes it is high time a review committee is appointed to analyse the performances of referees.
"Football is a sport of entertainment, and it was a nice entertaining game for the supporters, but there were situations in the game that I think could have completely boiled over and turned the game into something ugly,” Josephs tells KickOff.com.
“We don’t criticise the officiating, but there were a few decisions that could have easily caused so much problems and would have highlighted the wrong parts of South African football.
“What I’m hinting at is that we need review committees to formerly look at referees' decisions, because as players we are also held accountable for our decisions and actions on the field by the referees.
“The game has improved over the years and has gone to another level, not only in South Africa but all around the world, and I think the officiating and the structure thereof also needs to be raised to that level.
“A review committee will help in that regard because they will be tasked with looking at decisions not only made in error but also those that are missed, and that will ensure the standard of our game continues to improve.”
Upon recommendation of the fourth official Victor Hlungwane, Tinyane sent off Wits coach Gavin Hunt, Arrows coach Clinton Larsen and his assistant Mandla Ncikazi after an emotional exchange of words on the touchline, something Josephs feels officials often don’t understand.
“You know things happen in a game and it becomes emotional, but the referees in our country don’t understand the dynamics of players’ emotions,” he adds.
"When a player questions their decision they take it personal, which it is not, it's just out of the heat of the moment in the game. I think our referees need a little bit of help with the understanding of emotions.
“Even with our coaches, it’s just banter but the officials take it personally and take offense to it. A lot needs to improve, but a review board would definitely help with ironing out all the issues."
Arguably the most unsavoury incident on the night was Siyabonga Dube’s head-butt on Gabadinho Mhango, which almost caused a mass brawl in the middle of the park. Josephs believes stern action is required.
“The key thing for me was the head-butt – that was ridiculous! You can’t be doing something like that as a professional, with the whole of South Africa and parts of Africa watching, what do people think of our game? That guy deserves two red-card suspensions,” he exclaims.