CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) referees have received a match fee increment for the upcoming season, a development that is likely to improve the performance of the officials who have been in the spotlight in recent times for the wrong reasons.
The much-awaited season will kick-off this weekend with eight rounds of fixtures around the country.
In a statement released by the PSL on Tuesday, the referee and the match commissioner will pocket $180 for their 90 minutes’ work while assistant referees and the fourth official will receive $160 each.
Before the increase was ratified, PSL referees and the match commissioner were getting $160 while the assistants and fourth officials got $140.
Referees are paid by the home team and the amount is standard.
Speaking during the unveiling of the league sponsorship by Delta Beverages last week, PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said defaulting clubs would have the amount deducted from their prize money at the end of the season.
While the increment for the matches is not very substantial, it is in cup games that the match officials will get a windfall.
For officiating in a cup final, all match day officials will receive a flat fee of $750 up from $500.
The amount varies at the semi-final stage where the referee and the match commissioner get $500, up from $300, while the assistants and the fourth official will receive $450.
For those that will officiate in the first round, they will receive $180 and $160 respectively.
In addition to the league, three tournaments have been lined up this season — Top 8 Cup, Chibuku Super Cup and Mbada Diamonds Cup.
However, the match fees for local officials still fall way short when compared to what some of their regional counterparts are getting.
In South Africa, for instance, a Premiership referee earns R4 250 ($402) per match as of October 2011, according to football website KickOff, while a Division One referee gets R3 312 ($313) a match.
The amounts are much higher for well established leagues in Europe.
According to another football website Goal, referees in the English Premier League are paid a retainer fee of €38 500 ($53 077) per season plus €1 170 ($1 613) per match.
The website reports that in Spain, a referee gets as much as €6 000 ($8 271) per match while those who officiate in the German Bundesliga get €3 600 ($4 963) after every 90 minutes.