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SAFA explains why no Referee of the Season award handed out

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The South African Football Association (SAFA) has moved to explain why no referees were honoured at the 2020/21 Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards last Sunday.

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South African match officials are normally rewarded at the end of each season with the Referee of the Season and Assistant Referee of the Season awards at the annual ceremony.

Last season, the late Shaun Olive and Chelly Javani were recipients of the awards, but questions were naturally raised over why that wasn’t the case this time around.

SAFA Head of Referees, Abdul Ebrahim, sought to clarify the situation after fingers were pointed at the association for not submitting their candidates.

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“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.”

Ebrahim explained that the national panel match officials are assessed after every match in which they officiate in both the GladAfrica Championship as well as the DStv Premiership.

All scores are added up and an average mark is obtained and based on that average mark, match officials are then ranked accordingly.

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“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.”

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