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Two Veteran SA Football Referees Hang Up Their Whistles

The South African Football Association (SAFA) have announced that the two seasonal referees will be calling it a day in refereeing. 

The retirement of Victor Hlungwani and Phillip Shumani Tinyani comes after they have seen it all in South African football as they have been officiating in South African football for two decades.

SAFA statement:

Veteran referees Victor Hlungwani and Phillip Shumani Tinyani are on the verge of retiring from refereeing, after serving South African football for over 2 decades. Hlungwani who was born on 4 February 1976 in Giyani, Limpopo, started refereeing in 1991 at age of 15 before joining the SAFA LFA in 1992.

The imposing match official made his PSL debut in the 2002/2003 season when he officiated the Nedbank Cup match featuring Santos and Island FC.

He has served in the top-flight football with distinction for 20 years and until recently, was on the FIFA international panel. In 2011/2012, Hlungwani was voted the PSL Referee of the Year.

His colleague, Phillip Shumani Tinyani was born on 24 August 1974, in a village called Dzimauli in Limpopo and is a product of Mutale Local Football Association (Nesasi). He made his first Premier Soccer League (PSL) appearance in the 2003/2004 season and has served in the top-flight football for the past 19 years.

South African Football Association (SAFA) chair of referee, Natasha Tsichlas said the Association and the country would like to thank these two football servants for their contribution to the game and for inspiring the next generation of match officials.

‘’On behalf of SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan and the football fraternity, I would like to thank the two for their professionalism and dedication to the game. I hope with their wealth of experience, SAFA will continue to utilize their experience in producing the future generation of referees,’’ she said.


The South African Football Association (SAFA) head of referees Abdul Ebrahim revealed to Kick Off that SAFA referees must retire when they reach 47 years of age. 

“Victor is 47-year-old, and he is retiring,” Ebrahim told Kickoff.

So he’s reached the age where he has to retire from active football. And obviously when the body speaks as well one has to listen.

“He is starting to experience the aches and pains of being a senior match official. What I’m trying to say is when you are 47 years old it becomes more difficult to pass the fitness test etcetera. So Victor decided that you know, it’s time, So he’s calling it time in his career, and he’s bowing out very, very gracious.”

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