Top Ref Damon still in limbo

Premiership

Injury and illness has kept the Cape Town school teacher from taking his place on an over-stretched and under resourced Premier Soccer League panel for the new season, with an examination of his fitness again called off at the weekend.

Damon missed the requisite pre-season tests in July because of a hamstring injury.

Referees who failed the strict fitness examinations were invited to re-try earlier this month in Kroonstad but Damon again missed the opportunity, this time because of a viral infection.

He has been asked to send a doctor’s letter to verify the condition as the South African Football Association ponder on what to do about his case.

Rules stipulate that referees who fail fitness tests must wait six weeks before they can be re-examined but if they keep failing they do not have a right to be re-examined every six weeks, according to refereeing officials. The scheduling of re-tests is at the discretion of SAFA.

As Damon might be considered a special case, given his experience and profile in the local game, tests could still be arranged for him in the coming weeks to prove his fitness.

Damon did not give any comment on the matter, save to suggest his potential return might now be delayed to January.

Damon was on the panel at the 2010 World Cup along with assistant referee Enoch Molefe. Along with Achmat Salie, who ran the line at the 1998 World Cup final, Ian McLeod and Ari Soldatos, they are the only South Africans to officiate at a World Cup.

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