The South African Football Association (SAFA) has explained why there were no referees honoured at the 2020/21 Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards on Sunday.
South African match officials are rewarded at the end of each season with a prestigious Referee of the Season and Assitant Referee of the Season title at the annual ceremony.
Last season, the late Shaun Olive and Chelly Javani were recipients but questions were raised over why it failed to happen on Sunday evening.
SAFA Head of Referees, Abdul Ebrahim has sought to clarify the situation after it was allegedly blamed on the association for not submitting their candidates.
"It was almost impossible to meet the close deadline. In the past, the awards ceremony are held a few days after the end of the season and that gives us enough time to process the winning officials," he said.
"And so trying to blame the Association for not meeting the unrealistic deadline is being disingenuous."
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the 2020/21 PSL award winners
Ebrahim says the national panel of officials in the top two tiers of South African football are extensively assessed before an average mark ranks them for the final decision.
"All our committees, Technical, Review and Appointments are made aware of these averages and are requested to submit nominations for Referee and Assistant Referee of the Season.
"Beside the average scores obtained, we also look at the number of technical errors made in the official’s matches and how often during a season, a match official has been sanctioned.
"Once everything has been verified and confirmed, the final nominee list, as well as the winners, are forwarded to the CEO of SAFA to forward to the PSL CEO."