In recent weeks both Eric Tinkler and Romain Folz amongst others, have slammed the standard of our local referees. According to them, the referees of our league have too much influence on the results of games. The leagues’ response is to suspend referees, or demote them to lower leagues, but clearly that approach is not working.
“The way I see it, there should have been one winner tonight. This is the harsh reality. The ones who have to deal with it, is me. I have to deal with it. Referees make mistakes, they don’t have to deal with anything. I have to deal with the repercussions, ‘ Eric Tinkler told the media in attendance after the Nedbank Cup fixture against Royal AM where they lost 4-3 on penalties.
“I have to deal with the chairman and explain why we lost when we shouldn’t have lost. Then I have to deal with the players and their disappointment. People don’t see that side. We need to be doing a lot more when it comes to our officiating because it is costing coaches their livelihood because they are being judged by mistakes of referees.
“Maybe I should not be talking about this, but I am talking about it.”
Tinkler was then asked how his team lost against Royal AM.
“According to me? Penalties that were not awarded, poor officiating, and, yes, we did not take our chances, that’s how we lost.
“But did we play well? Yes. I know exactly how we get judged as coaches: ‘Did you win? Did you lose?’
“Everything that happened in the game, no one cares. But understand we care, the players care. We need to do something about it [refereeing in SA]. Make them professionals full-time. That must be the solution. What else? What else is there?”
“CAF is even worse. I was angry. Understand how we lost there, don’t tell me “we lost’,” Tinkler said, referring to City’s CAF Champions League second preliminary defeat to Petro de Luanda in October last year. That’s important. It gets locked away. We don’t read into it. I have to be careful what I say.”
However what coaches need to consider is that human error is not unique to South Africa alone. Countries like England are still making mistakes even though they have better referees and better technology. Despite VAR, to help officials make the right decisions, there still an ongoing outcry about refereeing VAR mistakes.
To a certain end there are clear errors that are inexcusable but there are also issues that are debatable and are not as clear cut when examined closely via replays.
Another PSL coach added his views. “I always say the same thing and people tend to think we say that only when we draw, or we lose. Today it was bad, do you know how many free-kicks they had in the second half? 17. Do you know how many we had? Four. I would like someone to tell me what is happening and I’m going to leave it like that,” Romain Folz told the media.
“If you remember the Royal AM game, we played a month ago,” continued AmaZulu Coach Folz.
“When they scored the goal that was disallowed when it hit the crossbar, I had to threaten the fourth official to take my players outside of the pitch and stop the game for him before he had to tell me it was not a goal.”
As a football fraternity, we need the right decision to be made, we also need the right support for referees. They also need protection because they are bound to make mistakes because every referee will have his own interpretation.
Referees are humans too, with families and it’s wrong to continue to bash referees.
This problem is not unique to SA, but this issue needs to be tackled in such a way that it does not target referees because it might end up riling up supporters to the point where we’ll see an uprising when decisions do not go their way.
Furthermore, when have you ever heard a coach accept defeat for a game. The usual excuses is always the same. You can guarantee that from a coach’s point of view its either, injuries, missed chances, defensive errors, players at fault, or the referee cost them the game. When do you ever hear a coach blame himself for a defeat. Accepting that he got it wrong. Makes you think!