The Safa Referees Review Committee found that match referee A Ebrahim, match commissioner R Pillay and fourth official L Mfiki transgressed the Fifa Laws of The Game when they allowed the Sundowns substitution of Patrick Apataki, who replaced Benson Mhlongo.
According to a statement release by Safa the Law is clear on the correct procedure that only the players who are involved at the end of the game are allowed to take part in the taking of kicks from the penalty spot.
Under the Additional Instructions andGuidelines for Referees, Bullet Point 5, the Law states:
“A player, other than the goalkeeper who is injured, may not be substituted during the taking of kicks from the penalty mark.”
Regarding the goalkeeper, this only applies if the teams concerned have not used all their substitutes under the Laws of the Game applying to the competition.
The Review Committee also found no mitigating circumstances in the decision which were taken.
The two other assistant referees, S Moshotle and L Mngqibisa, were involved in a conversation with team officials at the time of the incident and did not realise what had transpired until the kicks were concluded and were therefore exonerated.
The Review Committee added that it is well aware of the seriousness of the situation which would have arisen if Sundowns had won their game through their penalty kicks with the involvement of their substitute player, Apataki.
In sentencing the match officials the Review Committee concluded that Ebrahim and Pillay will each serve seven days suspension which will commence on December 13, 2007 and conclude on December 19. In addition the fine will equate to 20 percent of their match fees.
Mfiki will serve a 14-day suspension having failed to adhere to conditions laid down in a previous finding by the Review Committee on November 23.
His suspension ends on December 26 and he has also been fined 20 percent of his match fee.