27 October 2017 - South African Football Association (SAFA) CEO Dennis Mumble has described the late Ian McLeod as a true gentleman who will be sorely missed by the football family.
Paying tribute to the decorated former referee who died on Thursday, 26 October 2017 after he was admitted to hospital on 15 October a day after he returned from the match between Black Leopards and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Thohoyandou, Mumble said the game had lost an honest individual who had no time for pettiness.
McLeod was the match commissioner in the match between the two Venda clubs and upon his return felt sick.
He was rushed to hospital the following day by his wife and although his condition was described as on and off, he passed away on Thursday evening.
"Ian was a perfect gentleman, never angry with anyone and always smiling. He will be extremely missed by the entire football family. We are really saddened by the passing away of Ian," said Mumble.
The SAFA CEO said the late McLeod was one of the few heavily decorated referees having been the first South African to officiate at a FIFA World Cup in 1998 in France. After hanging up his whistle, Ian continued to be involved in the game.
At the time of his death, he was part of the CAF club licensing instructors, was acting as SAFA's head of referees and was greatly involved in the restructuring of the referees department together with other ex-officials.
McLeod was responsible in the appointment of all of the lower division's match officials and was in the process of putting together a panel of officials to handle indoor football and 5-a-side.
"This is a huge loss and the void left will be difficult to fill," added Mumble.
"I had known Ian for over 20 years, we travelled together when we were doing the club licensing courses on the continent; this man was a gentleman through and through. We have lost an asset as a country. May his soul rest in peace," said the SAFA CEO.
FACT FILE Ian McLeod:
WAS A SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL REFEREE
HE WAS A HEADMASTER AT CRAWFORD COLLEGE UNTIL HIS PASSING
BECAME A FIFA REFEREE IN 1993
IN 1996 HE WAS SELECTED FOR THE AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA - HE OFFICIATED IN THE CLASH BETWEEN ALGERIA AND SIERRA LEONE (ALGERIA WON 2-0) PLAYED ON 18 JANUARY 1996
HANDLED TWO MATCHES IN THE 1998 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS TOURNAMENT IN BURKINA FASO - GHANA vs TUNISIA (9 JANUARY 1998) AND COTE D'IVOIRE vs EGYPT (21 FEBRURY 1998)
WAS AT THE 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP IN FRANCE - TAKING CHARGE OF THE 0-0 DRAW BETWEEN SPAIN AND PARAGUAY IN GROUP D ON 19 JUNE 1998 PLAYED AT STADE GEOFFROY-GUICHARD IN ST. ETIENNE
AFTER RETIREMENT FROM ACTIVE REFEREEING, IAN ASSISTED COSAFA AS A MATCH COMMISSIONER - HE OVERSAW THE COSAFA CASTLE CUP GROUP C SEMI-FINAL FIXTURE BETWEEN BOTSWANA AND NAMIBIA IN JULY 2007
AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, HE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE SAFA REFEREE'S DEPARTMENT