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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Chiefs and Pirates are no longer strong like they used to be – Mashaba

"Chiefs and Pirates used to be the teams to beat when they were always at the top," says Mashaba.

Former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has given a damning assessment on the standard of football in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

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Mamelodi Sundowns are chasing a record-extending seventh DStv Premiership title with the other two traditional heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates now living in their shadow.

Mashaba, a Pirates legend of the 1970’s is not amused by the dominance of the star-studded Sundowns team, that has made a mockery of the competitive nature of the domestic league.

“Chiefs and Pirates used to be the teams to beat when they were always at the top,” Mashaba remarked in a wide-ranging interview with Thabiso Mosia on Radio 2000.

“Nowadays they end up at (position) four and five. People say that our soccer is going up because TS Galaxy has beaten Pirates or Chiefs and I say ‘no, that isn’t the case’ the football has gone down.

“Teams at the bottom no longer have anything to work for because they know teams at the top are no longer strong like they used to be.

“When we were still coaching, the national team would have six or seven players from Chiefs and five from Pirates. It does happen now that Bafana plays without a Chiefs or Pirates player and that tells you that standard has gone down.”

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Mashaba did, however, give praise to newly-crowned African Football League champions Sundowns and their style of football under Rulani Mokwena.

“They (Sundowns players) don’t imagine themselves losing. You can see when they play, and their coach is passionate and cares about them,” Mashaba added.

“They have just won the new competition their jersey keeps on shining.”

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