Nothing wrong with SA refs - Carelse
20 July 2012 | NJABULO NGIDI
Daniel Bennett, who has been shortlisted to officiate in the Fifa 2014 World Cup along with Zakhele Siwela, was the only experienced referee to pass the test along with 58 other officials – 23 failed to make the grade.
Two other referees Victor Gomes, who was absent for the tests due to poor health, and Lwandile Mfiki, both with Fifa badges, were successful in the second tests which were carried out in midweek.
Carelse blamed the cold weather for the outcome of the first tests.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was asked if he had a problem if a South African referee officiated the Manchester United match against AmaZulu and he said it would be his pleasure,” Carelse said.
“There is nothing wrong with the officiating in the country. Look at the PSL and look at how it ended. It was professionally handled.
“This thing has been blown out of proportion. Just like players aren’t 100% fit in pre-season, referees aren’t too. How many players have failed fitness tests at pre-season? A lot. This is our pre-season and we will gradually get there.
“I think if the tests were moved to another date, because of the cold, the outcome would have been different. I said that it was a mistake to carry on.”
This is the second time there has been news of referees failing fitness tests. Bennett and Jerome Damon were stripped of their Fifa badges late last year when they failed the Fifa sanctioned fitness tests which were conducted in this country.
Bennett had to go to Malawi for another round to regain his badge. It is when Damon picked up a hamstring injury. Carelse clarified the absence of other top referees in the country, among the 59 who passed – including Damon who has officiated in four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
“Daniel Volgraaf had a cold and Damon has a hamstring injury which we thought would be fine by now, but it is not and he could be out for six months,” he said. “Victor Hlungwani has an ankle injury and in all these cases there is nothing we can do. It is the same when a player is out with an injury.”
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