|Big hit: Gould hits Kebede on Nov 9|
GOULDEN GLOVES. Tap-tap Morgantini. Floygan Gouldweather. Yup. It’s been tough time for Morgan Gould, ever since the Kaizer Chiefs centre-back landed what appeared to be a punch right on the chin of Bidvest Wits’ Getaneh Kebede.
It all came to a head yesterday when a hastily-convened PSL Disciplinary Committee handed down a two-match ban and R100,000 fine for Gould’s apparent left hook during the AmaKhosi’s hardfought 2-1 win against the Clever Boys on November 9 at Soccer City.
Immediately the social networks were abuzz. Given that Mabhuti Khenyeza was sentenced to a YEAR out of the game for spitting at a linesman, the general consensus (though not unanimous) was that Gould had got off lightly.
He hasn’t. The 30-year-old from Soweto is hurting. Video of the incident has taken more than 500,000 YouTube hits from all around the world. “That’s dirty man” are the three words from the commentary (see video below) that will live with him for the rest of his career.
Tomorrow he will appear on my football show BOLLOCKZ! on www.ballz.co.za to explain all. Earlier today he told me: “It’s been an awful time. A bad month. Very difficult. I just want to put all this behind me.
“When I went before the PSL Disciplinary, I knew I couldn’t plead not guilty. I said after the incident it was a “freak accident” but I know if I’d been punched like that, I would have been really angry. I would have looked at it afterwards and said it was a deliberate punch.
“I looked at the replays and I decided I had to plead guilty. Hold my hands up. That’s what I did. I apologised to Kebede and I’m sorry for what I did. It was not intentional but somehow I did it. It’s there, you can see it.
“I accept the two-match ban (Gould misses tonight’s clash against resurgent Polokwane City and Saturday at Free State Stars) and I will pay the R50,000 fine (the other half was suspended), I have to do that.
“I didn’t want to plead not guilty. That would have weighed heavily on me. I had to say I’d done it; for the sake of my family and my friends, people who believe in me. I want to get on with it, get over this.”
Gould is a strong bloke, an imposing figure who has twice come back from serious injury since his move to Chiefs two seasons ago. But he is also one of the good guys. Gavin Hunt, his coach for four years at SuperSport United and now in charge at Wits, knows that only too well.
Hunt told me: “Look, it was a punch. No doubt about that. But I don’t believe it was pre-meditated. Hands fly. Things happen. You know football, Neal.
“I’ve known Morgan for years. I like to think I played an important part in his career. My guy Kebede is over it. An apology has been made, now there’ll be a written apology.
“My problem is with the officiating. The referee was RIGHT THERE. He saw what happened. It should have been dealt with at the time. A red card on the spot and the normal two-match ban would have been right.
“Then we would have had none of this, no need for a review and a hearing. But we’re over it. I wish the lad well. He’s not a bad lad. I know that.
“He’ll get over this. He’ll recover. I’m just annoyed we didn’t take a point of Chiefs that night!”
BOLLOCKZ! my show on www.ballz.co.za, airs every Thursday from 9am. See the Ballz channel on www.YouTube.com for our growing collection of interviews with the big names in South African football.
You can also follow me on www.twitter.com/nealcol for all the latest sports news… and read my “Neal and Pray” column every Tuesday in www.thenewage.co.za.
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