Safa and PSL send SOS to Motsepe for VAR funding 

The South African Football Association (Safa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) joint liaison committee have approached Patrice Motsepe’s foundation for a R30-million donation for the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in SA.  

The joint liaison committee met up on May 27 and the decision was taken to go cap in hand to the billionaire mining magnate who has previously bailed out both the PSL and Safa on a number of occasions.  

Motsepe stepped down as Mamelodi Sundowns president after he was elected as the Confederation of African Football (Caf) president in 2021. 

“The members were given 14 days to report back to the committee. They were confident that the Caf president would once again come to the rescue of SA football. Motsepe was expected in SA to attend a draw of one of Caf’s development tournaments in the country,” said a highly placed Safa official who opted to remain anonymous.  

The Motsepe family and their foundation came on board when Safa needed performance bonuses for Banyana Banyana en route to the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand were.  

They also bailed out the PSL with the sponsorship of the First Division after GladAfrica could no longer continue funding the second tier of SA football.  

They also stepped in the last minute and the first division was renamed the Motsepe Foundation Championship. 

The PSL has been plagued by inept and poor refereeing standards that continue to deteriorate every season. This has led to widespread criticism and with the football fraternity calling for the immediate implementation of video refereeing.  

The required R30-million would be for VAR equipment and for the training of officials.  

 Currently, South Africa has only four VAR-trained officials in Victor Gomes, Zakhele Siwela, Akhona Makalima and Abongile Tom. With Gomes getting promotion as the chairman of the Safa Referees Committee, it leaves the association with only three active referees. So, this means that a lot of training will have to be undertaken.  

Last year, Safa president Danny Jordaan met with the esteemed former Fifa World Cup referee Pierluigi Collina and the two discussed the idea of the Italian coming to South Africa to help set up the VAR.   

“We want Collina to help set up the long-awaited VAR process. By roping in Collina, the country will expedite the long-awaited implementation of VAR. In terms of the Fifa Statutes, it is the member association’s right to oversee and implement all the referees’ structures and programmes,” said Jordaan. As custodians of football, Safa are in charge of referees and refereeing aspects and attempts to reach CEO Lydia Monyepao on her phone were not successful. 


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