Supersport United coach Cavin Johnson says Victor Gomes “must take a good look at himself”, after yet another outrageous performance by the referee marred a Premiership match.
The clash between Bidvest Wits and SuperSport at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night threw up yet another episode in a catalogue of dubious refereeing and opened the door to more debate into Gomes’ competence as an official.
Just last week the referee was strangely praised by Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane for “having guts”, but Johnson and his counterpart, Gavin Hunt, were far from pleased on Tuesday after the reigning Referee of the Season twice pointed to the spot for soft penalties. Gomes also gave Wits left-back Onismor Bhasera a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Thabo Moloi in the first half and denied Clever Boys striker Sthembiso Ngcobo what looked a legitimate goal late in the game as Wits held on for a 3-2 victory. The headline-hogging referee has awarded 10 penalties in his last three league matches and Johnson says it’s high time he is stopped.
“Maybe he has set the record now. Ten penalties is a lot. Maybe I also need to get my name in the headlines. I also need to do something. Maybe I should grab one of you (journalists),” Johnson said in jest.
“I think he has to look at himself in the mirror and ask what he’s doing with South African football because that’s not fair play. For me it (Gomes’ decisions) has affected six or seven teams,” said Johnson.
“The referee is just an added bonus on the pitch. It’s 11 versus 11 on the pitch.
“So you ask yourself who is more important in the game, the players, the coach, or the referee?
“For me, the coach is nothing. The players are the most important people in the game, and that’s why they have the man with the whistle to control tempers and for fair play. That’s the referee’s main job.
“I feel the penalties should not have been given in the first place. They were soft. It’s mind-boggling. You sit here and think what a way to throw away points.”
Johnson was disappointed that SuperSport could not make the most of their one-man advantage, but the coach has not given up on winning the title just yet.
Matsatsantsa are third on 32 points, 11 behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs with 10 matches still to play.
“We were one player up and we should have sealed the game. We did not use the ball properly in the final third and then they got two silly goals. We still have 10 games to go.
“We have to fight, so we have to push the team as hard as possible. Right now it depends entirely on Chiefs and the teams that play against Chiefs. I think I have one more chance against Chiefs this season. They are coming to my house, so we will see what happens there.”
Hunt, meanwhile, was delighted with his side’s victory and made reference to the fact that the penalty awarded to the Clever Boys was his first as Wits coach this season, but feels it should not have been given.
Defender Sboniso Gumede was pulled down in the box in the first half by Moloi, and Wits’ hat-trick hero Sibusiso Vilakazi levelled matters from the spot – his first of the night – after Sibusiso Khumalo had given Matsatsantsa the lead on 22 minutes.
“Both penalties were not penalties. But it’s football. This is the first penalty we have had this season,” the former SuperSport coach said.
Wits are fourth, a point behind SuperSport. - The Star