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SAFA: Our referees need to improve

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has admitted that the standard of officiating needs to improve across the country following persistent complaints.

Referees in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have long been in the spotlight, with Gavin Hunt, Pitso Mosimane and Benni McCarthy among high-profile coaches to openly criticise them recently.

SAFA have responded by posting a statement on their website, quoting head of referees Tenda Masikhwa as admitting that officiating is an area of concern.

"We acknowledge that teams invest a lot of resources in running their business. We have seen some borderline game-changing decisions in some matches, for example, the Bloemfontein Celtic/Mamelodi Sundowns, Cape Town City/Bidvest Wits and a few others just to mention a few," said Masikhwa.

"While match officials are only human and are prone to making mistakes, some of the blunders are unacceptable and we ask match officials as professionals, to jerk up their act."

Masikhwa also reassured critics that SAFA was working tirelessly to address the nationwide officiating problem.

"Much as our officials are among the best on the continent, mistakes are part of the game but we are working flat out to eradicate unnecessary and costly mistakes among our officials," Masikhwa said.