Michaelson Ntokozo Gumede

By Ntokozo Gumede


Mngqithi at pains with match officials after Pirates loss

'Our football is killed by a lot of time-wasting,' said the Sundowns co-head coach.

Manqoba Mngqithi hit out at the match officials after watching his Mamelodi Sundowns side being outclassed by Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

The Buccaneers beat Masandawana 3-0 to knock out the defending champions and march on to the MTN8 final. However, the Downs mentor was not too accepting in the manner in which they lost to the Ghost.

Mngqithi wagged his finger at the man in the middle, Thando Ndzanzeka and his team of linesmen Zakhele Siwela and Moeketsei Molelekoa, together with fourth official Akhona Makalima.

In hindsight, maybe the Sundowns coach will admit that Mannupule Saleng kept the ball in play before playing a cross to Kermit Erasmus for Sundowns’ opener, while Zakhele Lepasa did the same when setting up Saleng for the second goal.

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“Have you ever seen a player scoring a goal, taking their shirt off but not getting a yellow card? Have you ever seen a ball going over the line and the linesman is meters away from the line, but he does not see that the ball went over the line and he is nonchalant about it?” said Mngqithi, however.

Among the Downs technical team, he is the one who is usually the calmest and hardly leaves his seat, but at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the 51-year-old mentor could not keep his cool.

“We were in pain because one small mistake by us is a foul, it’s a yellow card and it’s a red card (Aubrey Modiba was sent off after received a second yellow card at the death for appearing to kick the ball at Saleng while he was lying on the ground).

“Everyone who is watching football these days can see what is happening in the PSL, and Safa are not doing enough to improve the PSL,” said Mngqithi.

According to the former Golden Arrows coach’s analysis, the ball stays in active play for “less than 45 minutes” across both halves. This is because of time-wasting, Mngqithi reckons and says it is unacceptable that time-wasters go unpunished.

“How many times did Siyabonga Mpontshane hold on to the ball and nothing happened to him? What has happened to the six-second rule for goalkeepers holding on to the ball? Our football is killed by a lot of time-wasting and our game must be played with at least 60 minutes of the ball in play, it will be better,” said Mngqithi.

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He adds: “I am looking at other games in the PSL, not just our matches only. There are a lot of poor decisions from these referees. But when you talk about these things, the next thing you are facing the wrath of the disciplinary committee.

“There are offsides that people are surviving on and winning games. I would not say that the referees are cheating but the level of competence is not at the level that is expected. It only becomes worse when it is a senior referee.”

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