Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has hit out at Orlando Pirates for probing the legitimacy of fielding Alje Schut in the Premiership game between the two teams on Wednesday night.
Losing 3-0 to the Buccaneers, Mosimane described it as “the worst game of my career”, and suggested that Pirates had received inside information regarding Schut's registration and right to play in the high-profiled Loftus Versfeld encounter.
“It was highly strange and unbelievable that Pirates raised the issue of Schut's registration while declaring they would play the match under protest if he participated,” Mosimane said.
“Where did Pirates get their information from? Why single out Schut as to whether his registration card had been properly renewed? Why not the other players?
“I had no information that there was any reason why Schut should not play so who has been giving Pirates information? I can only repeat that it is very, very strange and unbelievable.”
In the end, Schut did make an appearance, only for the influential Sundowns captain to be injured and replaced at half-time.
Mosimane was not only incensed by the drama surrounding Schut's participation, but also bemoaned the fact that the referee had only red-carded Thabo Matlaba in the dying minutes of the game after the Pirates and Bafana Bafana defender had seemingly stamped over spread-eagled Sundowns player Kudu Mahachi.
“Everyone saw what happened, but I had to go onto the pitch and force the referee to send off Matlaba after what he had done.
“Notwithstanding this, I would like to congratulate Pirates for their success. They took their chances like professionals and deserved to win. I lost count of the chances we missed.”
Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic said he did not wish to be drawn into the flare-up that surrounded Schut's eligibility.
“This is a matter for the administrations,” he said.
“I knew nothing about it and was not involved.”
But Vermezovic said he was “greatly concerned” about the incident involving Matlaba which “should never have happened with us leading 3-0 and only a minute of play remaining.
“We will look into all the various aspects of the matter and then take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”
The match lifted Pirates from 13th place on the log to eighth, but left defending champions Sundowns struggling in 10th spot. – Sapa