Have you ever wanted to hear a referee’s side of the story after a controversial decision? Would you like for officials to be interviewed after football games? Chairman of the National Referees Committee Edwin Senai says the laws of the game do not allow for match officials to be interviewed after games.
Very often players and spectators feel hard done by match officials, with cries for penalties, bad offside calls, red cards and the like. No matter how concrete your complaints are as a player, a team or a spectator; do not expect to hear from the official regarding how they handled the game.
Senai says officials are not expected to answer for their deeds but rather their committee can be contacted in their stead.
When addressing the matter Senai said, “It’s not in accordance with the law to interview the officials after a match. Anything regarding their conduct during the game can be directed to the Referees Committee”.
Errors by officials have been part & parcel of football from time immemorial and some instances have resulted in football associations suspending or expelling referees. For example, Mauritian Referee, Seechum Rajindrapasard, was suspended by Confederation of African Football (CAF) for poor performances at the recent 2015 AFCON tournament that was held in Equatorial Guinea.
The verdict was based on Rajindrapasard’s inability to maintain control of the game between Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea. Rajindrapasard awarded Equatorial Guinea a questionable penalty, an action which impelled Tunisian players to make aggressive advancements towards the official after the game.
In Botswana, Mochudi Centre Chiefs players Pontsho Moloi and Michael Mogaladi were suspended for engaging in violent conduct against referee Joshua Bondo in a Mascom Top 8 game against Township Rollers during the 2013/2014 season.
The players were protesting a late penalty awarded against their team, which they felt was unfair. In similar cases Senai mentioned that the National Referees Committee assesses its officials regularly with the motive of correcting and improving their skills.
“Currently we do not have any serious cases concerning referees’ conduct but in rare occasions there are calls for action and our assessors take the necessary measures,” Senai concluded.