JOHANNESBURG - Steve Komphela has revealed that he spent nearly 20 minutes on the phone with Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza following the strikers’ incident with the boo boys in Polokwane on Tuesday night.
In a bizarre celebration after his contribution to an own goal that gave Pirates the lead away to Black Leopards in a league game, Gabuza threw his shirt into the crowd before storming off towards the dressing room – 11 minutes before half time.
He returned to the bench after the break with his knee heavily strapped, but referee Thando Ndzandzeka correctly showed him a red card by cautioning him twice. The first yellow card was for taking his shirt off and the second was for leaving the pitch without permission. Komphela, who was targeted by the boo boys during his three years at Chiefs, disclosed that he’d spoken to Gabuza the morning after the match.
“I hope my bosses aren’t going to kill me, but I spent 18 minutes and 35 seconds talking to Gabuza,” Komphela said after his Bloemfontein Celtic side played to a 2-2 draw against Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
“They were on their way from Polokwane. The biggest challenge with us human beings is to look at what we want to achieve without acknowledging the fact that the other person across is also human. Competition must not bring an element of ruthlessness and irrational actions.
"What I said to him, taking from my own lessons, was that media has a huge role. They can direct the angle and how society sees things. I am not hanging anybody or holding anyone accountable, but just questioning whether we are taking enough responsibility to give direction as leaders.”
Gabuza sets up a goal ⚽️
Gabuza takes off his shirt🚶🏿♂️
Gabuza walks off the field 🤔 pic.twitter.com/rnqF02JjPz
He suggested that social media played a part in Gabuza’s meltdown: “You have no control over social media. There can never be an opinion that is deep, thorough and well thought on social media, unfortunately people there are faceless.
“My man how do you then come and listen to somebody who is just out there to break you because they support another club. It’s not that they are genuine with their utterances, but the power of the tongue. I said to Gabuza he must put on a positive filter.
"I said where we come from the cake flour would have worms because we come from poverty you would never understand. You know what mom would do? She would take a sift and shake…have the same lenses in your eyes and ears. See positive, feel positive and you will act positive. But if you act go on and try listen to all that is negative it is going to kill you.”
Komphela also lamented the absence of a professional that can help deal with the mental stability of footballers: “They never had someone to talk to when they are introduced to football at this level. Who told a 19-year-old kid about the challenges to come? Nobody guides them. But as a coach you must always have these classes. I said he (Gabuza) must be strong. But I need to equip him on how to be strong, give him tools.”
Gabuza has since apologised for his actions via the club’s platforms.