Referee device goes missing at Royal AM clash

Referee device goes missing at Royal AM clash

Referee Abongile Tom officiated the DStv Premiership fixture between Royal AM and Sekhukhune United without the standard communication device meant to be supplied to match officials by the home team.

With the hosts winning 2-0, coach Brandon Truter subsequently questioned the bizarre decision following assurances from Royal AM staff the referees’ hearing aid – enabling constant interaction between Tom and his assistants – which had been left behind, was making its way to the Chatsworth Stadium.  

The Premier Soccer League [PSL] manual is clear the home team should provide the communication kit to the appointed match officials. 

Truter said: “I don’t want to comment on referees. But at one stage they said they had the earpiece here, the game started and then they didn’t have the earpiece. So, there was no communication whatsoever between the officials.” 

SABC Sport understands a report has been submitted to the PSL football department, now headed by former referee Ace Ncobo and it is up to the league’s prosecutor Zola Majavu on whether Royal AM should be charged.

He added his voice to growing cries that the standard of refereeing in the PSL was deteriorating at a fast pace. 

“I think it’s clear for South Africa to see what’s happening. We miss the old ones [referees]. The new, we understand they are growing, and they will get better with experience and more games. But at the rate things are going, everybody is complaining about the current crop of referees. Something should be done about it,” said Truter. 

Asked if the introduction of the video assistant referee [VAR] technology was long overdue, Truter said it could be a game-changer. 

“That would be welcomed by some of us. There are games where mistakes from the referees decide the outcome – I think VAR will minimise those mistakes and hopefully get it right. But we should have been better, I won’t complain about referees,” Truter explained.