The late SAFA match commissioner, Matankiso Titi-Miya, has been commended for her passion for football development.
Her life was cut short in a car crash last Friday on her way to officiate in the DStv Diski Challenge match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Sekhukhune United.
Paying tribute to a woman pioneer
Titi-Miya was the first woman in the Free State to receive a FIFA badge which allowed her to officiate in international matches.
She will be best remembered for her hard work and dedication.
PSL referee and a friend of Titi-Miya, Victor Hlungwani says Titi-Miya loved and lived for the game.
Hlungwani says they relied on Titi-Miya to raise referees’ concerns in the National Referees Committee.
“But what I can say about her is the passion she had for referee development when she was co-opted into the national panel. She used to phone us and say are you happy with what is happening in the South African refereeing. So we would give her some of the issues that we would discuss at that level and that was good to address our issues on the ground. We did not have the voice. So she was our voice as we speak now.”
The president of SAFA in the Thabo Mofutsanyana region, Elizabeth De Koker, says Titi-Miya was a shoulder to lean on, especially on matters relating to refereeing development.
De Koker was speaking at the memorial service of Titi-Miya in Clarens in the eastern Free State.
De Koker says Titi-Miya was devoted in uplifting the standard of soccer in the region.
“Matankiso was a darling, a hard working person. Matankiso would ensure that when she has been given a task she is able to start it and to end it well. And from time to time she is not a person who is happy with mediocrity. And she would always want to up her game, assignment and she kept me on my toes, she kept us on our toes because in the province we were relying on her in transforming refereeing.”
Development assistant referee, Zanele Ntombela, says its still hard to believe that their mentor is no more.
“I feel very hurt because she was a motivator to us. She was everything we needed as the young developing women referees especially in the province of Free State. Everything we needed she gave us.”
Referees instructor, Enoch Molefe, says he’s grateful to have crossed paths with Titi-Miya.
“Mme Titi can be described as a very disciplined and devoted person. She was very beautiful by heart inside and outside. Very committed to her work. I was telling somebody that Mme Titi is one person that would never disappoint.”
Titi-Miya became an active assistant referee between 2004 and 2010. She was also a referees’ instructor and a member of the National Referees Committee.
As match commissioner, Titi-Miya officiated in among others, the DStv Premiership, National First Division and ABC Motsepe Leagues.