South African Football Association’s (Safa) head of referees Tenda Masikhwa has described how domestic match officials are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with officials being hit hard in the pocket.
The suspension of PSL matches came after an announcement by the league's chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza who addressed the media after a Board of Governors’ meeting on Thursday.
Masikhwa understands and agrees with the decision taken by Safa.
“The referees are affected just like everyone else, we cannot expose them to such danger and we have to practice safety at all times – that is the priority,” Masikhwa told Goal.
“I think the president [Danny Jordaan] has released a statement that money is not an issue but their safety is and that is what we must be all concerned about. So, that is why we are saying they are not supposed to be officiating anyway because the matches are suspended.”
However, Masikhwa acknowledges that officials will be hit hard financially as they are not permanently employed by the football governing body and are paid according to the matches they officiate.
“You know their contract is just a contract for them to say they are getting paid as and when they work," he added.
“What they must be doing now is all about keeping fit and safe from the disease. In fact, referees are better off compared to the players because they usually train alone than when you compare with the players, who train as a team.
“They can still train outdoors and remain fit and whenever the games continue, they can hit the ground running.”
While the ’Iron Duke’ has stated that the current PSL campaign should be completed by no later than June 30, the actual resumption of PSL matches is dependent on the course of the coronavirus in South Africa over the coming weeks.