Referee Handed Life Ban for Celebrating With Winning Team After Issuing 4 Red Cards to Opponents

Referee Handed Life Ban for Celebrating With Winning Team After Issuing 4 Red Cards to Opponents

  • A Dutch referee named Jan Smit has been banned from footballing activities over suspected malpractice
  • St George won the controversial match in which three players and one coaching staff were red-carded
  • Smit raised eyebrows when a video captured him celebrating with the winning team

Dutch referee Jan Smit is in trouble over suspected malpractice during the game he handled between St. George and SV De Valken.

Collage of Jan Smit celebrating with St George's players.
Smit maintained his innocence, adding that he saw nothing wrong in celebrating with the winners. Screengrabs from Vbar Caracol.
Source: UGC

The 61-year-old threw the game into confusion after sending off three De Valken players and a member of their coaching staff.

Why was Jan Smit banned?

The Sun reports that Smit added an extra 15 minutes to the end of the game, allowing St George to equalise.

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St George had been trailing heading into stoppage time, during which goalkeeper Dave Laan equalised to win the championship.

Shortly after the match, Smit was pictured celebrating with the St George players.

A viral video captured the referee getting on the podium and lifting the trophy while singing songs of jubilation.

What was Smit's reaction to lifetime ban?

De Valken filed a complaint against the referee, who had a previous suspension in 2021 for "improper behaviour."

Upon investigation, the Dutch Football Association and the KNVB handed Smit a lifetime ban.

"We called Mr Smit and told him that he is no longer allowed to referee matches. We expect a neutral attitude from a referee and that both teams are treated with respect," read part of the statement from KNVB spokesperson Daan Schippers.

Smit, however, defended himself against the decision by insisting that what he did was not wrong.

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He argued that his ban was laughable because KNVB had made the critical decision based on one video without doing research.

"I wasn't partying with the players at all. I just sang a song and held up the bowl once. That's the only thing," he said in an interview.

Kenyan referee pocketed over KSh 194k from AFCON

In an earlier story, FIFA-accredited Kenyan referee Peter Waweru Kamaku was paid over KSh 194,000 during the AFCON 2023 tournament.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) raised the referee earnings plus lump sum payments, which saw the referees smile to the bank.

Waweru was picked among the 26 centre referees, alongside other Kenyans - Gilbert Cheruiyot and Stephen Yiembe in the assistant referee posts.


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Nkem Ikeke (Copy editor) Nkem Ikeke is currently a copy editor who also writes for the politics and current affairs desk on weekends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (2010), and has over 10 years of work experience in the media industry (Reporter, News Agency of Nigeria). Email:

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Basit Jamiu (Editor) Basit Jamiu is an award-winning journalist and a human interest editor with more than 5 years of experience in the media (Ikeja Bird, Prime Progress, The Movee). He started his journalism career after graduating from Ekiti State University in 2018. He is a 2023 MTN Media Fellow, OCRP Fellow at ICIR, and Accountability Fellow at CJID. He also has professional certificates in Information Management, Technical Writing, Digital Marketing from Google. He can be reached via