Reason Why referee Jelly Chavani is always centre of attention in Kaizer Chiefs matches.
Controversial Premier Soccer League referee Jelly Chavani has once again been cast in the spotlight over his dubious decisions in Kaizer Chiefs matches.
Chavani awarded Stellenbosch FC a penalty during the dying stages of their pulsating MTN8 quarter-final against Chiefs at the Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The teams were deadlocked at 1-1 at that stage of the game.
However, Chavani then sensationally overturned his decision after consultation with his fourth official Thabo Thawyse and allowed play to continue much to the confusion of everyone.
Chiefs went on to win 4-3 in the penalty shootout to advance to the MTN8 semi-finals.
South African football does not, though, utilise the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology as most other countries do in their respective leagues.
Acting Premier Soccer League CEO Mato Madlala has previously pointed to the fact that most clubs are not in possession of their own stadiums has prevented the introduction of VAR.
Although television replays showed that the correct decision was ultimately made with the ball hitting Chiefs playmaker Keagan Dolly in the midriff and not on the hand, the question remains how did Chavani manage to overturn his decision with VAR not in place in South African football?
“I heard that it probably was the correct decision,” Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker said post-match. “But whether we have a delayed VAR system in our country, unofficially, it seems like it was the case, so long as there is consistency with that going forward.
“I’m not too sure if the other team today had got the penalty with two minutes to go that it would have been overturned… But hopefully it would have been.”
It remains questionable that Chavani would be appointed for such a high-profile fixture, which was also played in front of a boisterous capacity capacity crowd with the game initially delayed by 30 minutes due to spectator issues and then halted during the second half when Chiefs fans streamed onto the pitch after Ashley du Preez’s equaliser for the visitors.
Chavani has a chequered history having previously been suspended for six weeks by the South African Football Association’s Review Committee for an error in a match between Amazulu and Chiefs in Durban last year.
The 26-year-old incorrectly awarded the Amakhosi penalty after the ball appeared to, but did not, touch the arm of an AmaZulu player. Dolly converted the penalty and denied Usuthu the three points.
Within weeks of returning to officiating, Chavani was again handed another four-week ban after not awarding Orlando Pirates a blatant penalty against Moroka Swallows.
Instead of awarding the spot kick, he instead showed the Pirates player a yellow card for simulation.