The Monitor :: Referees’ Boycott Halts First Division Second Round Kickoff
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 February 2018, 16:32 pm.
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Referees’ Boycott Halts First Division Second Round Kickoff

PALAPYE: Some fixtures in the resuming Debswana First Division North (DFDN) league had to be put on ice over the weekend after the referees failed to pitch up for the games.
By Koketso Kgoboge Mon 29 Jan 2018, 08:35 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Referees’ Boycott Halts First Division Second Round Kickoff








Despite the fixtures being released to the Referees Association a week earlier, an inside source told Sport Monitor that they were not fixtured for the weekend. According the insider in the Referees Association, the issue that has caused the blackout is payment of the referees’ assessors.

At the beginning of the season assessors were introduced in the national league as a means of improving the standard of refereeing. The First Division South League however continued without a hiccup and it seems the problem lies in the north. The teams learnt of the issue at the last minute.

Only two fixtures were played officially while the other, Sua Flamingoes and Green Lovers agreed to play a friendly match. In the official matches that were officiated by referees who were hand picked by the teams, Francistown City Greens beat Real Movers 3-1 and in Pilikwe, Morupule Wanderers and Mahalapye United Hotspurs played to a stalemate.

DFDN chairperson, Mpezeni Sambandawe said they had done everything in their part as per the norm to ensure the league resumes. He said they communicated their fixtures with a referees’ representative responsible for fixturing referees in the north and they kept contact until Thursday and yet no complaints were raised. “We have not received any formal or informal complaints from the referees until at the last minute when they did not pitch up for the games,” Sambandawe said.

“It’s unfortunate and we apologise to our teams, supporters and the entire football fraternity

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and we have acted on the problem. We hope the matter will be resolved and the league will continue.”

When quizzed on the assessors’ payment, Sambandawe agreed they had not made the payments because his committee was not sanctioned by national association to make such.

“We appreciate the input of the assessors, but they were not budgeted for and we do not know who the bearer of the cost is.”

“However, we had previously requested the referees chairman to provide a formal communication from the mother body that sanctions us to make such payment so that we can be accountable to both the mother body and our sponsor,” Sambandawe said.

For his part national referees chairperson, Eatlametse Olopeng said they had communicated with the national league in its entirety about issues of assessors and they have made both executives of the league aware that they will bear the cost of the assessors.

He said it is not their intention to stop the league and they hope the misunderstanding will be cleared as a matter of urgency and the league will return shortly.

“It seems there is a problem in the north with this issue of assessors. We hope to meet with the league executive committee in the course of the week to identify the confusion and iron out the problem,” Olepeng said. “It is unfortunate the games had to be stopped, but it was never our intention, we hope the games will start soon.”

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