Referees cost AmaZulu top four finish this season - Sandile Zungu

Referees cost AmaZulu top four finish this season - Sandile Zungu

AmaZulu chairman Sandile Zungu believes AmaZulu could have finished the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season in the top four if it wasn’t for refereeing errors.

Usuthu coach Pablo Franco Martin also complained on numerous occasions to the media about the standard of refereeing in the PSL top flight. 

AmaZulu finished 11th on the log, with 36 points, and speaking to host Victor Molefe on Prime Time Sports on Ukhozi FM, Zungu believes they could have had better results if it wasn’t for the poor level of officiating.

"I speak with some authority when I say we played really well as a team, but we didn't succeed because the referees didn’t like us most times. Some decisions were taken that impacted the result of the game,” Zungu said.

“There was an incident where our goalkeeper was pushed, but the goal was allowed. There was also a player from an opponent that had a handball in the box and the referee didn't make a decision.

“Instead of giving us a penalty, if we miss it, we miss it. But we have very sharp players, maybe this season we only missed one penalty. 

“There was also a situation where we were winning and our player got a red card, and we played with 10 men then the other team equalised.

“There was another situation where our player played a world-class tackle, but was given a red card and we played again with 10 men and the opponent scored, where I think we could have won the game or gotten a draw. 

“When you add all those points, I can say, if things were done right, we would have ended up in the top four this season."

SAFA chairperson of the national referees committee Victor Gomes announced during the recent inaugural COSAFA Awards that there has been progress regarding the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee in South Africa. 

Zungu added that VAR would be helpful in the PSL, so they don't have to wait for television analysts to highlight errors made by a referee when they've already lost the points.

“A lot of errors could be avoided because, now we can't rely on analysis from Monday or Tuesday TV shows when they point out those mistakes because you've already lost three points.

“So, it will be better because VAR will change those decisions live and clarify if there is a penalty or not, whether there should be a red card given or not, during the 90 minutes,” he concluded.

READ: Sandile Zungu assures AmaZulu financial stability