The country’s elite soccer league is poorer without Jomo Sono. One was reminded of this, this week at the Nedbank Cup press conference where Bra J held the media spellbound as he looked ahead to Jomo Cosmos’ last 32 clash with Hungry Lions. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
The country’s elite soccer league is poorer without Jomo Sono. One was reminded of this, this week at the Nedbank Cup press conference where Bra J held the media spellbound as he looked ahead to Jomo Cosmos’ last 32 clash with Hungry Lions. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

There's nobody in football like the great Bra J

By Matshelane Mamabolo Time of article published Feb 6, 2020

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The country’s elite soccer league is poorer without Jomo Sono. One was reminded of this, this week at the Nedbank Cup press conference where Bra J held the media spellbound as he looked ahead to Jomo Cosmos’ last 32 clash with Hungry Lions.

Local football’s Black Prince walked in while Vaal University of Technology were on the podium and to say his entry shook young Standford Nkoane would be putting it mildly.

The VUT coach could not hide his awe as he stared at Sono, who wore the trademark flat cap to cover that famous big head from which he seems to keep his witty quips that are missing from many of the PSL coaches whose conferences are often so robotic they could well be scripted. Sitting down at the podium, Sono could not help himself.

“One could make a lot of money from selling these cellphones,” he said as reporters placed their gadgets in front of him to record.

Now in the second tier Glad Africa Championship league for a fourth successive season, Sono acknowledged just how much he misses the glamour of the Premiership.

But, in true Bra J fashion, he admitted that he missed the bigger paycheque the most.

It was refreshing really, to hear a coach speaking truthfully and without fear. It is common knowledge that the officiating in that league can often be diabolical and many have said that to gain promotion, clubs often have to grease the match officials’ palms.

While he did not say this was truly the case, Sono told the newshounds that much as he would love to return to the top league, he was not one to “bribe the referee to go back to the PSL”.

An insinuation that some are bribing their way up, perhaps?

Anyone who has been in the game long enough knows the stories of brown envelopes passed to officials to influence the game.

“In that league, sometimes you can smack the referee because some of them are doing it (robbing clubs) purposely,” he said “I once even phoned the selectors and told them do not bring that referee to my game. Because some of them rob you, they come to rob you.”

A veteran of the game, he told of how he has picked up a trend with the officiating. Essentially, Sono said, the officials appear to be earning their keep in dubious ways in December and January.

“We know that the nonsense starts in December for their holidays and then in January it is for school fees. Some of them get so bad in December you ask yourself is it the same referee.”

It was a press conference where no questions where evaded, his acknowledgement prior to responding to a question about the match officials that “you want to get me into trouble with the referees”, notwithstanding.

Jomo Sono is one of the local games most colourful coaches. Sure he may be struggling as a coach to get his team back up to the elite league but you have to admire his tenacity as well as his ability to still look on the bright side and be able to laugh at things that have got many a club owners to leave the game.

Few in this country are football men through and through like Bra J. A pity he is not in the elite league to brighten up the dull environment filled up by many a morose coaches.

@Tshiliboy


The Star

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