South African referee Daniel Bennett has decided to hang up his whistle in international football, after having served in the Fifa referees’ panel since 2003.
His retirement will take effect on 31 December 2019 moving forward.
However, Bennett (42) hopes to continue serving in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) for years to come.
The two-time PSL Referee of the Season (2000/01 & 2010/11) added that this was not an easy decision for him to make. However, he felt that this was the right time to part ways with officiating on an international level.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time representing Safa as a Fifa referee since 2003,” Bennett said.
“However, the time has come for me to make way for young and up-and-coming referees who can have the opportunities that I have had on an international scene.
“Retiring from the international scene at the end of the year will allow me to devote more time to my domestic refereeing career and my family as well.”
Bennett also added that he would like to thank the South African Football Association (Safa) for backing him throughout his refereeing career on an international level, adding that they played a massive part in helping him create memories that he will cherish forever.
“I would like to thank Safa for having nominated me 17 times to serve in the Fifa refereeing panel and for supporting my international career throughout the years,” Bennett said.
“The biggest highlights of my international refereeing career will always be when I was selected to serve in the 2014 Fifa World Cup tournament in Brazil, the 2010 Fifa Club World Cup and 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup finals (which both took place in the United Arab Emirates), as well as refereeing eight Caf finals as well.”