13 Apr 2015 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 13 APR (NAMPA) Namibia Premier League (NPL) defending champions, Black Africas coach Ronny Kanalelo, has finally broken the silence on the standard of refereeing in Namibia.
Kanalelo, who replaced Brian Isaacs as head coach in January this year, is no stranger to the standards of local refereeing. He was a player with the coastal outfit, Blue Waters from 1991 to 1997 before joining South Africas Mamelodi Sundowns as goalkeeper till 2005. In August 2010 Kanalelo, also knows as The Magnet, became coach of Tura Magic while in the First Division and later progressed to coaching NPL teams like Eleven Arrows and Tigers before he again headed to South Africa to take over as the goalkeeper of Maritzburg United in July 2011.
With such experience, Ronny always reserved his comments about the refereeing standard in the country, but speaking to the media here on Sunday after his team defeated Rebels Football Club 3-0 in an NPL game, Kanalelo said the referees in Namibia are either weak or biased.
Our match officials are spoiling the game of football and I have learned that the same officials socialise with certain clubs' top officials. Now imagine, how fair will such an official be on the field while rubbing shoulders with top officials of clubs when they dont perform well on the pitch? said Kanalelo, adding he has evidence of referees socialising with club officials.
Another coach who also expressed disappointment with the standard of referees in Namibia is Rebels coach Martin Bock, who was red carded on Sunday for allegedly insulting a referee. Bock told this reporter on Monday that refereeing in Namibia is pathetic and is of a very low standard.
We lost many of our games this week because of poor refereeing. On Saturday when we played UNAM, one of our players was sent off for a tackle and as we spoke, that player got injured and will be out for the rest of the season. The referee apologised after the game for apparently making a wrong decision and that already cost us a player and points, Bock charged.
He said on Sunday when they played Black Africa, the same standard of refereeing was applied.
'They kept on blowing the whistle for unnecessary things. As a coach, you really don't know what these officials are doing on the football fields, Bock said.
Namibia Football Association (NFA) Referee Manager, Edward Boy-Boy Ndjadila, was not available for comment on Monday.
Rebels are currently fighting relegation. They are second-last on the log in a 16-team league with 17 points.
There are only five games left before the NPL ends in May.