Matshelane Mamabolo.
Matshelane Mamabolo.

Officials need to face the music

By Matshelane Mamabolo Time of article published Oct 31, 2019

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In football, where coaches are no more useful than disposable razors, isn’t it just crazy that match officials are allowed to get away with murder?

Pitso Mosimane, the Mamelodi Sundowns coach, is in trouble with the league for having dared to voice his disappointment at the officiating in his team’s 2-0 defeat by Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

I suspect Highlands Park’s Owen da Gama could well be receiving summons from the PSL DC pretty soon after saying what just about everyone who watched his team’s defeat by Orlando Pirates on Tuesday screamed. “Diabolical. The assistant ref must be jailed.”

Benni McCarthy, the Cape Town City coach, has also been called to order for daring to point out just how poor the officiating in the league has been. And - like Mosimane - he lamented the fact that the bad calls seemed to somehow generally favour Chiefs.

No doubt poor refereeing decisions in the PSL have affected just about every club, Amakhosi included.

But when Mosimane cried foul and highlighted that Chiefs are benefiting from referee’s mistakes and asked if we are back to the 80s, I understood him exactly.

The 1984 Mainstay Cup final immediately comes to mind. It was the first match I watched on the television.

Amakhosi won the match 1-0 courtesy of a penalty converted by Teenage Dladla. But the spot kick should never have been as Chippa Molatedi was tripped outside the penalty box only to fall inside.

In another cup game, this time the 1991 Castle Challenge semi-final, Chiefs beat Moroka Swallows in a penalty shoot-out. But the match could well have been decided before football’s equivalent of the lottery.

Calvin Petersen scored a penalty to equalise and almost immediately Swallows got another spot kick that would have won the match. But before the kick could be taken, Wellington Manyathi rushed to the spot and dug a little hole with his boot. Petersen spotted him and tried to put the soil back in only for the referee to stop him. His explanations fell on deaf ears and the man they had nicknamed Michael Jackson sent the ball high up into row 26.

But hey, the referee’s decision is final and you dare not question them. Dare point out their mistakes and you will have to answer to Prosecutor Nande Becker like Mosimane is going to have to do ... he’ll probably have Da Gama for company.


The Star

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