Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
7 Oct 2021
1:29 pm

Pirates players warned to guard against bad publicity

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

'When you play for a big team like Pirates, you’re playing there to better your own life,' said former striker James Mothibi.

Gabadinho Mhango, seen here in the colours of Malawi, has been in the press of late for all the wrong reasons. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix.

Playing for a big team doesn’t only come with pressure, but it also comes with a huge responsibility as people see you in the image of that particular club you play for, especially a team like Orlando Pirates, says former striker James Mothibi.

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The Northern Cape-born striker has shared his thoughts on the recent bad publicity earned by Bucs midfielder Ben Motshwari, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, while Gabadinho Mhango was said to have failed to settle a R26 000 bill at a nightclub, before another report claimed that the Malawian international drove over a foot of a porn star he was with at a filling station.

Having spent many years at Pirates, Mothibi knows what is expected from Pirates players.

“The advice that I gave to Goodman Mosele (who did not turn up for Bafana Bafana duty this week), I would also give it to those boys (Motshwari and Mhango), who found themselves on the wrong side of things. We don’t know how true it is, but if it is, then they must always know that Pirates come first and it’s bigger than them,” said Mothibi.

“When you play for a big team like Pirates, you’re playing there to better your own life, to better your career, to better the lives of your family, to perform and to be included in the national team. They are carrying the names of their forefathers, so they need to protect their names against wrong things in the media or public.”

 “If you drink, you must do it at home. Or just do it responsibly and don’t be reckless whereby you get caught by police and you are all over the media.

“But you know, the Pirates management needs to focus on these boys. These things happen, these boys just need advice. I would say to the chairman (Irvin Khoza) to do the very same thing he did with Jabu Mahlangu and the late Gift Leremi by taking them overseas for rehab, it’s something he should do … when such things happen. The chairman is always there for the players, but the players need to act accordingly as well.”