Eric Tinkler questions fourth official's powers to influence referees in PSL matches

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In the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Friday between the Team of Choice and AmaZulu at Harry Gwala Stadium, questionable officiating by referee Tshidiso Maruping came into the limelight.

"Like I said, all round the game was not pretty. I prefer not to comment any further because ultimately it always comes back to bite us as coaches," Tinkler said.

The home side thought they had doubled their 1-0 lead late in the first half when goalscorer Thabiso Kutumela pounded on a loose ball but he was adjudged to have fouled Phumlani Gumede.

Tinkler said the decision taken by the fourth official confused him.

"But we scored the goal in the first half, referee didn't blow. I saw him looking at the linesman and the linesman didn't have his flag raised, and I believe it was the fourth official who made the decision," he said.

"I know for a fact because the fourth official told me during half-time that it was him that told the referee that it was a foul, and he said he also watched it on the screen, which was a foul."

Tinkler reckoned maybe it is about time we get clarity on whether the fourth official is allowed to change referee's decision to not, because he has been told different information by officials in the past.

"The problem I have, in past football matches where the fourth official has seen that, it has been a foul and penalty but he tells me that he is not allowed to talk to the referee.

"So this is a bit of grey area now because I'm asking a question, when are you allowed and when are you not allowed?

"I think we need to get clarification on that because today we had that situation and I know it's happened in three or four games in a row that I've asked the fourth official and he told me that they are not allowed to change referees' decision. So it's strange."