Ref­er­ees let­ting down the game

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

ref­er­ees and their con­tro­ver­sial of­fi­ci­at­ing con­tinue to hog the head­lines for the wrong rea­sons in both the premier league as well as the lower divi­sions.

In some cases, the of­fi­ci­at­ing has been so bad that the ref­er­ees have ended up be­ing as­saulted not only by an­gry sup­port­ers, but even play­ers, as well as club of­fi­cials.and this ter­ri­ble ref­er­ee­ing is some­thing we, as the foot­ball fra­ter­nity, will never tol­er­ate.

it’s true that ref­er­ees are hu­man be­ings, just like the rest of us and they are bound to make mis­takes, but some of them have be­come a dis­grace to our beau­ti­ful game be­cause of their in­ep­ti­tude. We also hear that some of them are tak­ing bribes to in­flu­ence the out­come of matches es­pe­cially in the A divi­sion al­though this has never been proved.

To­wards the end of the first round of the cur­rent A divi­sion sea­son, a ref­eree was se­verely beaten-up, al­legedly by Ma­jan­tja play­ers and of­fi­cials.

Ma­jan­tja were play­ing at home against Sky Bat­tal­ion when this vi­o­lence hap­pened.i will never en­cour­age hooli­gan­ism in our foot­ball, which is why i feel the le­sotho foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (lefa) should cleanse its ref­er­ee­ing depart­ment and i also think a se­ri­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tion would help the fed­er­a­tion get to the bot­tom of the mat­ter.

i have talked to a num­ber of match of­fi­cials who have con­firmed that some of their col­leagues take money to in­flu­ence matches, which is not only a shame but only un­for­tu­nate.even some high-rank­ing of­fi­cials work­ing for the foot­ball mother-body have also ad­mit­ted that there is some­thing fishy go­ing on in the ref­er­ees depart­ment.

The fact of the mat­ter is that club of­fi­cials will do what­ever it takes to make sure their teams suc­ceed, but the ref­er­ees must re­main strong no-mat­ter the temp­ta­tion to take money and side a par­tic­u­lar team in a game.

This cor­rup­tion has been par­tic­u­larly rife in the A divi­sion where 12 teams have to fight for the sin­gle au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spot into the premier league.

Some of us in the me­dia fra­ter­nity watch th­ese matches week-in and week-out and con­stantly wit­ness this chaos that is bring­ing our game into dis­re­pute.

Un­for­tu­nately, some of the lefa of­fi­cials hardly at­tend lower-divi­sion matches where the cor­rup­tion is very glar­ing so they could see how se­ri­ous the is­sue is, and we only spot their faces at Set­soto sta­dium dur­ing Cup fi­nals and in­ter­na­tional games.

Yet this rot in our game is some­thing that needs to be taken very se­ri­ously and the sooner the au­thor­i­ties move to clean the sport, the bet­ter.

i know that as usual, the foot­ball au­thor­i­ties will vent their anger on the me­dia for talk­ing about th­ese cor­rupt prac­tices in­stead of deal­ing with the mat­ter that has been pre­vent­ing our foot­ball from pro­gress­ing.

in the vi­o­lence that took place when Ma­jan­tja faced Sky Bat­tal­ion, the for­mer was widely con­demned for the fight­ing, which of-course, was the right re­ac­tion be­cause no-mat­ter how an­gry the fans and play­ers or even club of­fi­cials could be, they should never take the law into their own hands but fol­low proper pro­ce­dures to reg­is­ter their dis­plea­sure.

How­ever, that does not give the ref­er­ees the right to trash the hard work that would have been put in by the play­ers and coaches through­out the week, by mak­ing shock­ingly bi­ased judg­ments.

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