Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
1 minute read
18 Jul 2019
2:42 pm

TBT: Lawrence Masegela

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

In this week's instalment of Throwback Thursday, former Hellenic midfielder Lawrence Masegela talks about how South Africa were cheated of an opportunity to go to the Fifa Under-20 team World Cup.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - 23 January 2005, Lawrence Masegela and Sibusiso Themba during the Mvela Golden League match between Pretoria University and Hellenic at the L.C de Villiers Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo Credit : © Lee Warren Gallo Images

Masegela recalls how Cameroon were gifted a win against South Africa in the Africa Youth Championship in Ethiopia in order for them to qualify for the global showpiece.

“Whoever won that game was going to the World Cup. We ended up losing the game to Cameroon and mostly due to football politics,” Masegela told Phakaaathi.

“We went to the half-time break leading 2-0 then they scored one in second half and most of the officials I think had links to Cameroon so they wanted us to lose the game.

“We had support from the crowd from the start of the game. When the final whistle went off the Ethiopian crowd came on to the field and wanted to attack the officials and the Cameroon players in protest of the unfair officiating.

“Cameroon players couldn’t even leave the stadium in their bus. The crowd only allowed our bus to get out of the stadium and we went back to the hotel. Ethiopia was like our second home that time. And Cameroon football officials and some of their cars were attacked but nothing happened to us.

“They loved us even at the hotel where we slept we were treated well and the people around supported us. We lost but the Ethiopians made us feel that we were heroes and they know we were cheated. I was away from home but I felt like I was home.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.