Top SA football referees pull down the curtain on their careers

Award-winning referees Victor Hlungwani and Phillip Shumani Tinyani are hanging up their whistles to focus on helping the SA Football Association (Safa) scout for future referees.

The duo has served South African football for over two decades. Hlungwani, who was born in 1976 in Giyani, Limpopo started refereeing in 1991 when he was 15 years old, before joining the local football association in 1992.

The strict but likeable match official made his PSL (Premier Soccer League) debut in the 2002/2003 season when he officiated in 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 of referees. During the 2011/2012 season, Hlungwani was voted the PSL Referee of the Year.

His colleague Tinyani, who turns 48 in August, is a product of the Mutale Local Football Association.

Referee Phillip Shumani Tinyani. during the DStv Premiership match between SuperSport United and AmaZulu FC at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on January 20, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images)


Tinyani made his first PSL appearance in the 2003/2004 season and has served in the top-flight football for the past 19 years.

Safa chairperson of the referees committee Natasha Tsichlas thanked the two servants of local football for their contribution to the game and inspiring the next generation of match officials.

“On behalf of Safa president Danny Jordaan and the football fraternity, I would like to thank the two for their professionalism and dedication to the game,” said Tsichlas.

“I hope with their wealth of experience, Safa will continue to utilise their experience in producing the future generation of referees.”

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Kgomotso Mokoena

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