Video vindicates ref in Top Eight final
Video vindicates ref in Top Eight final

Posted in News on Sep 02, 2001.

Kaizer Chiefs were deserved winners of the BP Top 8 title on Saturday. Following Sundowns' 7-6 penalty shootout loss, there was a general feeling that the Brazilians were robbed, The Star reported.

Many felt referee Achmat Salie had played too much time, which allowed Chiefs to grab the equaliser through Cyril Nzama's header from a corner kick by Arthur Zwane to send the game into extra time.

Sundowns coach Ted Dumitru accused Salie of robbing his side of a penalty and claimed the match official "also added on four minutes of injury time which was unnecessary".

Ironically, Salie, who officiated in both Sundowns' quarterfinal and semifinal clashes against Free State Stars and Jomo Cosmos respectively, claimed Dumitru had "praised me as a good referee after the matches and even told me he wished I could referee the final".

While it is widely thought that the Pretoria-side were cheated out of the R1-million first prize, careful analysis of the match video proves that Fifa-accredited Salie was justified in adding the extra 90 seconds to the three minutes of additional time he had already decided on.

Being the sole judge of time in a match, referees are allowed to add more time for what they deem is a delay. Things such as injuries, substitutions and stoppages qualify as delays.

When it comes to bookings, said Salie, referees use their discretion.

"We don't add time for bookings. But when a player, especially one whose side is leading, runs away as you are about to book him, we usually consider that buying time and we add it on."

Fourth officials, according to Salie, are told by the referees how much time is to be added on for stoppages and are meant to indicate this a minute before the end of either the 45 or 90-minute mark.

While Ace Ngcobo, the fourth official, indicated the time to be added on a minute and 23 seconds after the 90-minute mark, Salie said he had long since decided on the three minutes and "I had already begun counting".

"The reason Ace took time to indicate the three minutes was because he was busy trying to get the Sundowns bench to stay in their technical area," said Salie, whose explanation is backed by video evidence.

One of the reasons which led to Salie adding extra seconds to the three minutes was the substitution of captain Daniel Mudau in the last of the regulation 90 minutes.

"I had already decided on the three minutes when they made the change, which took some time to materialise. So I had to add this delay to the three minutes. But unfortunately, the fourth official cannot indicate again that more time will be added and as such people thought I had added unnecessary extra time."

Video evidence shows that the substitution, which saw two-goal hero Mudau make way for midfielder Alex Bapela, took 32 seconds to happen.

And there were also delays within the three minutes of added time, which Salie justifiably made up for with extra seconds.

When John Tlale kicked Jabu Pule on the edge of the box 12 seconds into the added time, there was a 56-second delay from the time play stopped to the moment Thabo Mooki took the free kick.

And then on a minute and 40 seconds, Lucky Qaba conceded a throw-in on the right side of Chiefs' half. But instead of leaving the ball for Chiefs to take the throw, the midfielder kicked it a few centimetres away from the spot where the restart was to take place, causing some five seconds' delay.

Referees, said Salie, keep two watches during the game. "The one we use as a stopwatch and the other runs continuously. When there are injuries, changes, the ball goes into the crowd or anything that leads to a delay, we stop one and restart the stopwatch when play resumes. When the continuous running watch gets to 45 minutes of each half, we then consult the one we've been stopping and restarting to decide how much time to add on."

When The Star viewed the video using a stopwatch, the actual time played in the second half turned out to be 44 minutes and 12 seconds, 48 seconds less than the normal 45 minutes a half should take. Without the stopwatch, the game went on four minutes and 28 seconds over the 45-minute mark after the break.

As for the extra time penalty claim, video evidence again backs Salie. Nzama's right foot cleared the ball and Marumo's fall was a result of the striker tripping on his own rather than from any contact made by the Chiefs defender.

It would seem things are going from bad to worse for the Brazilians, who went into Saturday's match with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over them.

Dumitru was forced to do without a number of key players, whom he had to exclude due a contractual dispute they have with the club.

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