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What’s the criteria used for promoting referees to PSL?

SAFA Head of Referees Abdul Ebrahim has shed light on the criteria for promoting referees to officiate matches in the PSL.

Concerns over officiating standards have long plagued South African football. They seem to be escalating, with controversial refereeing decisions becoming a common occurrence.

At times, SAFA’s process to appoint referees for the DStv Premiership and Motsepe Foundation Championship has come under scrutiny from fans.

Previously, SAFA directly promoted officials from the provincial level to the national panel. However, Ebrahim says they realised there was a significant gap in quality between these levels.

To address the issue, SAFA established a development group of match officials who gain experience in officiating junior competitions like the DStv Diski Challenge [DDC].

This development group acts as a feeder system, paving the way for the referees’ eventual promotion to the national panel.

What's the criteria used for promoting referees to PSL?
Abdul Ebrahim


“There is a whole process that they must go through. In the past, match officials used to be taken from the provinces and brought to the national panel,” said Ebrahim during the interview with FARPost.

“We realised that the gap between officiating at the national panel and officiating at the province is very big which is why we have the development group of match officials.

“And they are the ones, you’d see most of them officiating the Diski Challenge ’cause they’re the ones we use as the feeder panel for the national panel.

“So, they sit in a two-year or three-year programme and if any one of them is exceptional or more, then they are incorporated into the national panel.

“So, it’s not just a matter of taking someone and bringing them in, sitting there in the five-day workshop and then, ‘okay fine you are ready to go’.

“There are levels that they must go through, there’s years of experience they need to build up before they can be incorporated into the national panel.

“So, it’s a process.”

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