JOHANNESBURG - Although he was incredibly frustrated with Seychelles referee Bernard Camille in SuperSport United’s 1-1 draw at home against Club Africain in the first leg, semi-final clash of the Caf Confederation Cup on Sunday, and fearing it could get worse in the away leg later this month, coach Eric Tinkler still rates his side’s chances of reaching a first ever continental final.
“I think we really need to be questioning the standard of refereeing in Africa because right now I simply don’t believe it’s good enough,” Tinkler said in his assessment of the stalemate, one in which CA were awarded a bogus penalty converted by captain Saber Khalifa in the first half.
“I think we were better, even though I am personally disappointed that at this level, this stage of the competition, we couldn’t take our chances. But we are going to find exactly what we got here when we go there.
"I have been there (Stade Olympique de Rades in Tunis) twice before and they are going to look to protect what they have. But that’s fine because even though they were feigning injuries and falling all over, we still hurt them. I have explained to the players that it doesn’t really matter, they must let me fight the battle with the referees. Their focus is to just go there and get the result.”
The clash will be in three weeks’ time and SuperSport have the MTN8 final against Cape Town City in Durban scheduled on October 14 following the international break and then a match away to struggling defending Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits three days later before having to travel to Tunis for the second leg.
“This is a high profile game,” Tinkler said. “We are going to look to have the Wits game postponed because we don’t know yet whether we are playing on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. If it’s Friday, there’s no way we can play a midweek game and then fly to Tunisia. We would want to leave on Wednesday probably.
"It has taken us 14 games to get to the semi-finals. It’s a massive month for us. We had this game and then we have the final. And I think the next game really should be the second leg against Club Africain. I hope the league and Wits will understand that.”