SAFA Head of Referees, Abdul Ebrahim has explained why seasoned referee Phillip Tinyani is still eligible to officiate in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for one more season.
The Limpopo-born Police officer was reported to be hanging up his whistle at the end of the recently concluded season.
He turns 47 on 24 August 2021.
While the FIFA cut-off age for active officiating is 45, in South Africa a mandatory retirement is at the age of 47.
The PSL season normally commences in the first weeks of August but with no confirmation on when the new season will start as yet, Ebrahim tells FARPost that Tinyani could still be allowed to officiate provided he meets all the requirements.
“We have not received a letter of retirement from him and obviously until we get that from him then that would be official,” said Ebrahim.
“In South Africa, you can be a referee until you are 47 and that’s when you can retire. As long as he can fulfil all the technical and physical requirements, he could possibly be on the national panel for next season.
“But also that would be up to the national referees’ committee who make the final decision on the final panel for a season. So if he meets all the requirements he can still be in contention,” he said.
When asked what would happen when Tinyani reaches the mandatory retirement in the middle of the season, Ebrahim says the referee could be allowed to conclude the season but it remains solely on the individual.
“That is something that we need to clarify, but Let’s say you are 46 at the start of the season, so if you are going to turn 47 afterwards, I am sure SAFA or the league would not expect you to stop right there.
“You finish the season and that’s it. But as I said it’s up to the individual. If you feel that in the middle of the season you can’t carry on anymore. It is your decision if you feel that you cannot go any further,” added Ebrahim, who himself retired at the age of 45.
Meanwhile, this publication tried to solicit a comment from Tinyani without success as the Safa match officials are not permitted to engage with the media. But we have also been reliably informed that he has indicated his desire to carry on.
Tinyani made his first Premier Soccer League appearance in the 2003/04 season and has served in the top flight football for the past 18 years.
He was voted Premier Soccer League referee of the season in 2014/15
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By Ofhani Munyai