Former FIFA referee Ace Ncobo has questioned how the referee came to his decision to overrule the injury-time penalty awarded to Stellenbosch FC against Kaizer Chiefs, but insisted the right decision was taken in the end.

Match official Jelly Chavani had pointed to the spot for an alleged handball by Keagan Dolly in the Chiefs box in the seventh minute of injury time but he changed his mind following a discussion with seemingly his assistant and the fourth official.

Ncobo now questioned why Chavani changed his initial decision not to award a spot-kick only to then point at the spot a few seconds later before overruling the call again.

“If you look at this incident, there are many worrying factors with this incident,” he said on SuperSport’s Extra Time.

“That’s why this whole thing of ‘rogue VAR’ comes in. You have a referee who has a clear view of the incident, he has decided there is no penalty.

“What then happens at that moment, I do not know. I’m not there, I’m not in his head, but he blows his whistle, points towards the penalty mark. Even as the players crowd him he is unfazed.

“What happens between that moment he decides no penalty and three to four seconds later, he decides ok it’s a penalty.”

“Look at how confident he is, even after being crowded by the players, he says penalty.”

“Was he right? Let’s look at the actual incident. The ball is coming towards the player [Dolly], he’s looking at it, he knows he has a left arm that is maybe in the path of the ball.

The moment it touches his body, look at where the arm is, it is so far away from the ball that I’m convinced that when Jelly looked at that incident and turned to follow play, he knew there was no penalty.

Somebody must’ve shouted in his ear ‘penalty, penalty’ for him to turn. I’m nearly speculating, I do not know.

Ncobo, though, also explains that Chavani was within his rights as match official to overrule his own decision.

“The decision is changed, lawfully. Law 5 states that as long as play has not restarted the referee can change his decision,” he added.

“We’re sitting here, we don’t know who has spoken to him to change his mind. For me the only scenario that could’ve been occurred was if the fourth official was close enough to the pitch-side monitor.”

However, Phumudzo Manenzhe, who covered the match pitch-side for SuperSport jumped in to say none of the referees reviewed the incident on a tv screen.

“I have to stand up and say, I was at the stadium, I was pitch-side, I was sitting with Julia Stuart there, no referee came to watch. We were the only ones with the monitor,” he explained.

Ncobo responded with: “I’m happy to hear that. The beauty about the whole thing is that the correct decision in the end was taken, because that was not a penalty.”

After the match, Stellies coach Steve Barker also echoed the sentiment that it was probably right to overrule the penalty call, but he questioned how Chavani came to the decision and whether it would’ve been the same had Chiefs received the injury-time spot-kick.


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