SAFA puts referees in their place


SAFA have called out the referees who are claiming they are fit to officiate PSL matches before 1 August and insist they are out of order.

SAFA and the PSL have been working towards the resumption of professional football for several weeks, with the former stating recently that referees still need to prove their fitness before they will be allowed to work next month.

However, after former match official and ex-PSL general manager Ace Ncobo caused a stir on social media claiming referees are already fit, a few referees interviewed by this website supported his statements.

READ: Referees: We are fit

Several referees feel they are ready to blow the whistle as soon as possible as they have been preparing both on their own and on SAFA's watch through online technilogy.

However, SAFA believes referees announcing their own fitness is unprofessional and it would be irresponsible of the motherbody to ignore the correct FIFA-mandated processes to ensure their match officials' full fitness and compliance.

"The issue of us requesting referees for fitness tests is an undertaking given to us by FIFA to say if referees have been inactive for more than a month, they have to go for mandatory three-week testing," head of communications Dominic Chimhavi tells

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"Not two weeks, but three weeks of testing. But because of the urgency of this matter we negotiated with the SAFA referees sub-committee to try to cut it from three weeks to two weeks, so we had to compromise to make it two weeks.

"The issue of fitness tests is a requirement by FIFA and also don't forget the requirement phase that fitness tests must be done by a FIFA-accredited fitness trainer.

"He needs to tell you to run 300 metres in five seconds. You can't reach that level of fitness after just training on your own.

"It's like someone who says, 'I have been studying all along and I don't need to go through any exam, I have been studying.' No, you still have to go through a fitness test.

READ: 'Ace is talking nonsense' - SAFA boss

"That fitness test is the one to give us an indication of who should be promoted into the CAF and FIFA panel depending on their grading.

"So you can't say, 'I have been training on my own and I don't need a fitness test.' Those referees are out of order. They don't know the rules of the game. That's the requirement by FIFA."

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