SA refs in fight for survival
FOUR South African referees face a last-gasp test in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania today in a bid to keep their status as Fifa officials.
Victor Hlungwani, Lwandile Mfiki and Daniel Volgraaf all failed the Fifa tests when they were conducted in South Africa in July.
Although Mfiki later went on to pass a subsequent test conducted by the SA Football Association and has since handled a few Premier Soccer League assignments, he still has to undergo the Fifa examination.
Hlungwani, who was injured, and Volgraaf, who was sick, have been in limbo after missing the Safa re-test. They can only be allowed back to officiate in local matches if they pass the Fifa examination.
The three are joined by assistant referee Andrew Reezers.
The Safa re-test was for local purposes only and is not recognised by Fifa.
Those who fail a Fifa test in their own country are given a second chance when world football's organising body conducts its next examination in a neighbouring country.
The four officials had to pay their own way to Dar-es-Salaam.
They will be joined by their Tanzania colleagues and other international stragglers in undergoing a tough physical examination, starting with accelerated runs.
There are six runs of 40m, which the referees must complete in 6.2sec and assistant referees in six seconds flat. There is only a minute's interval between the six.
After this they move to the high-intensity-run section of the test - on a 400m track.
A lap is divided into four segments - 150m run in 30sec, with 50m recovery at walking pace, followed by another 150m run in 30sec, with 50m recovery at walking pace. This they must do 12 times, keeping within the time target at all times.
Veteran referees Jerome Damon and Buyile Gqubule are both back on the national panel after they passed local re-tests at the weekend. Both will officiate in PSL games in the weeks to come, officials have said.