Award-winning seasoned referee, Buyile Gqubule, is out of breath to blow the whistle as he calls it a day. Buyile has retired as a professional referee after blowing the whistle for 19 years in the Premier Soccer League(PSL), National First Division(NFD) and the lower leagues.
Speaking to safa.net, the firm referee said: “After due consideration, taking into account age and recurring injuries, I feel now is the right time to call it quits. I have no regrets; I have enjoyed fruitful 19 years on the pitch. I would mostly like to thank SAFA and my refereeing colleagues for the support in making my refereeing journey a success,” said Buyile Gqubule.
When asked about his future plans, Buyile said he will be hard at work developing aspirant referees in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
The no-nonsense man said the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will always linger in his mind. “The greatest highlights of my career included officiating in Africa’s biggest derby, the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates,” said Gqubule.
Although the Soweto Derby forms part of Buyile’s memories in professional football, he concedes that his best game was the MTN8 semi-final between Ajax Cape Town and Amakhosi. “I would say my best game was the MTN 8 semi-final between Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town,” said Gqubule.
Acting head of SAFA Referees Department, Lindile Kika said it was painful to see the back of Buyile Gqubule, whom he described as the most proficient referee in South African Football. “It is sad to have to part ways with one of our most proficient referees in South African football. He contributed immensely and I would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” said Lindile Kika.