This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.


We all know that footballers in top leagues are paid way over the top in weekly and monthly wages.

However, the referees officiating across various leagues are paid peanuts compared to soccer players. Here in Eswatini referees are pegged at embarrassingly low scales. This past week the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) announced a slight increase in match officials' allowances across the board. “All members and stakeholders of EFA are hereby informed that the EFA, at its executive committee meeting, in a holistic review of all applicable allowances for the practice of the football business, decided on the following rates as applicable for match officials (referees and match commissioners) in football matches,” said EFA CEO Frederick Mngomezulu in a statement. The revised figures showed an increase from E350 to E400 for Premier League referees. This means that at a time when commodity prices have soared to alarming levels, the referees have been given a paltry E50 increase. Referees in the National First Division will get only E240 after the increase.


Compared to their colleagues in the Southern African region, the figure is simply ‘embarrassing’. In Zimbabwe, a country whose economy is almost on its knees, Premier League match referees were already paid US$180 per match (about E3 200) by the year 2017. In 2011, South African Premiership referees earned E4 250 per match before tax, while the assistants pocketed E3 312, also before tax. In the same year, First Division referees received E3 312 before tax. And as of 2016, the new match fee for Premiership referees in South Africa was E4 887.50 before tax, which represented a 15 per cent increase, while their assistants were pocketing E3 809.38. The fees were applicable to league and cup competitions.

Their National First Division counterparts also received a 15 per cent increase. The referees in South Africa’s second tier now earn E3 809.38, while their assistants will get E2 515.63 per game. Match commissioners in the Premier League are now rewarded E4 056.25 per match and those handling First Division matches will get E3 987.50. Over the years here in Eswatini, proposals had been tabled as to how the conditions of service of referees could be improved. We were hopeful that the matter would be considered favourably. In the past year, referees were subjected to ridicule and attack and one had hoped they would be compensated fairly through a notable increase in the match fees.


Having taken years to review the allowances, one would expect another re-evaluation soonest. There are obvious reasons why referees should be compensated reasonably and fairly.
Being a referee is one of the most difficult jobs in football. Every decision you make is analysed and scrutinised by managers, players and fans. NB: Comments are most welcome at [email protected]