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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
SA refs unfit for U20 World Cup
The logo of the 2007 U20 World Cup
Three South African referees have been sent home from the event
Three South African referees have been sent home form the Fifa Under-20 World Cup, currently underway in Canada, after one of them failed a fitness test.

The South Africa Football Association (Safa) confirmed the Fifa designated officials, Jerome Damon (middleman), Enock Molefe (assistant referee) and Siphiwo Jibiliza (assistant referee), have all returned from the tournament.

The three were sent back after Jibiliza failed to finish a fitness test conducted before the start of the event.

While Safa awaits Fifa's medical report on the incident a Safa spokesman said: "It would appear that Jibiliza collapsed in the middle of the test and suffered a black-out.

"This situation forced Fifa to send the whole team, of three referees, back."

The chairman of the National Referees Committee in South Africa, Kirsten Nematandani, described this development as unfortunate.

Nematandan said: "All three had passed the national fitness tests, consequently, we did not see this one coming."

"The doctor has since informed us that he recommends that Jibiliza must go for a brain scan, relating to his complaints of several bouts of headaches and other symptoms," he added.

"We will only make a decision on the matter once a final medical report has been made available when all medical procedures are over.

"This means that Jibiliza is therefore withdrawn from all future assignments until further notice," said Nematandani.



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