Sport / Phakaaathi

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
11 Aug 2017
4:58 pm

The road towards becoming a Safa-accredited referee

Gosebo Mathope

There are various competence levels, and candidates for the NFD and PSL must be at least 23 years old, and can only officiate until they are 47.

Danny Jordaan, president of Safa (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

South Africans interested in becoming South African Football Association-accredited (Safa) referees must first join a local football association where they are a resident, as recruitment is done in schools, clubs and the regions.

“This is primarily because Safa is demarcated in accordance with the Municipal Structures Act. There are 52 Safa regions and 341 Local Football Associations across the RSA,” the organisation’s referees development section wrote to The Citizen.

Safa explained: “Without being discriminatory, reading and writing is compulsory due to the nature of the trade. This must be supplemented by a good understanding of English as well and the understanding of the laws of the game.”

The levels of accreditation vary from basic, or Level 1, to Level 7, which is for highly experienced candidates.

Levels 1 and 2 training is handled by local football associations, 3 to 4 are managed by regional football associations, provincial associations are in charge of level 5, while level 6 and 7 are the responsibility of Safa at headquarters.

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“There needs to be a period of time between writing the various levels of competence and understanding of the laws of the game in order to allow for practical, on-the-field experience to be obtained by the referee,” Safa said.

The organisation is also open-minded about the age of the candidates, with the Examination Board having decided that “all referee candidates, irrespective of age, should have the opportunity to write Levels 1 to 6”. The only exception is Level 7, where candidates must be invited by the National Referees Office.

“However, success at the various levels does not mean automatic invitation to the refereeing panels operating at regional, provincial or national levels,” the organisation warned.

Safa stated: “Although older, experienced referees have a positive role to play in the refereeing fraternity; it is considered essential that age restrictions be put into place to ensure that the ‘cream’ of refereeing talent is allowed.”

With this in mind, local football associations entry level is 13 years and above, and 15 years for provinces. SAB League entry age is 18 years, with retirement at 35. You need to be 20 to be considered for ABC Motsepe League and retire at 35. For the First Division and Premier League, candidates must be 23 and retire from service at 47.

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