GEORGE FOOTBALL NEWS - Thembalethu's very own Premier Soccer League (PSL) match official, Masixole Bambiso, is fast becoming a household name in the National Premier Soccer League. The talented referee's career in the South African Football Association (Safa) is skyrocketing.
Idinga chatted to Bambiso to learn more about his career.
Bambiso started his career in 2012 in the George Local Football Association (Geolfa). At the time he was doing well as a player, but when he saw the demand for young referees, he took up the challenge. "It was not an easy decision to make, because at the time I was the number one goalkeeper in my team and my coach didn't want me to leave the club," he says.
Love and passion for the game are what motivate him and urge him to push his boundaries.
He has officiated at many tournament matches in South Africa, including the SAB u.21 Championship 2015, SA Schools Tournament 2015, Metropolitan Cup u.19, and Burger King u.19, tournaments, ABC Motsepe League, Glad African Championship League (formerly known as the NFD), the MDC, the PSL Reserve League and the National Premier Soccer League.
His biggest highlights were officiating the Varsity Cup Final in 2015 with the game being broadcast live on TV, and being nominated as the best young referee in 2016. Bambiso says young people who wish to be match officials must work hard and believe in themselves.
"Refereeing needs a lot of time, training and dedication and great love of the sport," he said.
Developing the young
Reflecting on development of soccer across the region, he says there's still a lot of work to be done. "Moreover, we tend to neglect the juniors," he says. "We need to create more tournaments and competitions for the grassroots level. They don't need to play for huge prizes, they can play for certificates and trophies and medals. We must just do something to motivate them to stay on the grounds and keep them off the streets."
He says support, both financial and emotional, is all-important. "Tournaments need resources and we cannot do this by ourselves. We need support from the community, from local stakeholders, so we can develop the future of the young stars and one day see them on TV playing in one of the top teams. Parents need to support their kids who are involved in any sport code.
"For example, Bambiso wouldn't be where he is today without his parents' support. When he was young his parents used to buy him soccer boots and when he changed to refereeing, his parents supported him by buying some whistles so that he could follow his dream, instead of asking questions."
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