Saturday, 19 December 2015

PLENTY OF PRESENTS: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Kaizer Chiefs.

PENALTY KING: Willard Katsande
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Steve Komphela at Kaizer Chiefs. Santa, with a shrill whistle, has been rushing up and down the chimney at Naturena with plenty of unexpected gifts.

Don’t take my word for it, ask Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt. Though understandably biased against the AmaKhosi, they do have the right to an opinion.

For me, the greatest gifts of all came from referee Khulisani Qongqo on Reconciliation Day at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Mamelodi Sundowns were running away with the Telkom KO final, leading 2-0 when two unwelcome surprises were thrown at Masandawana in the space of 13 minutes.

First Thabo Nthethe was blown for a foul on Camaldine Abraw, who fell as he cut across the Mamelodi Sundowns captain, still elated after scoring the second goal. PENALTY, said Santa Qongqo.

In the 73rd minute, the unfortunate Nthethe was left stunned again, this time when the ball hit him under the arm while he was sliding in on Reneilwe Letsholonyane. Another PENALTY, said Santa Qongqo. Ho ho ho!

Of course, history records than Ugandan goalkeeper Dennis Onyango saved both spot kicks, from Siphiwe Tshabalala and Abraw. He went on to win Man of the Match award and Sundowns eventually triumphed 3-1. Justice was done. I’ve seen on soft penalty given, but rarely have I seen TWO in 13 minutes.

Very little was said after this blatant attempt to turn the match around from a referee I hope we never see in charge of a major PSL match again.

On Saturday in Cape Town, with coach Steve Komphela under increasing pressure - he’s actually lost more cup finals than league games this season - Chiefs found themselves up against leaders Wits University, who had also lost just once this term.

CHRISTMAS GIFT! Kaizer Chiefs winner is clearly off-side
Picture: @cklatey on Twitter
Daniel Bennett was in charge, another official known for his cunning ability to survive in the high-pressure world of South African officiating. We were all waiting, and it came. But I have to say, I thought it WAS a penalty when Onismor Bhasera brought down Abraw.

Bad tackle, clear foul. Bennett hesitated but gave it. Willard Katsande, my favourite midfielder, stuck it away, showing Shabba and Abraw how to score from 12 yards.

Wits equalised through Daine Klate, now the PSL’s top scorer with 7, but Lorenzo Gordinho scrambled home a 73rd minute winner. Amid the melee, it looked off-side, only one defender in play... but a difficult one to give for Bennett amid the scrum of players on the goal-line.

Gavin Hunt, the Clever Boys coach who rarely enjoys defeat, had no doubt: “I told the lads, Kaizer Chiefs will be given a start. And I was right. A penalty. But that’s what you expect. We are not a fashionable side. We’ve had 6 penalties against us this season, but not one our way.

“Their second goal? It was off-side wasn’t it? But this is what you get. All the big decisions went against us.

"There was only one side here today, we completely out-played Chiefs.”

After the attempted hi-jack of the Telkom Cup, Pitso was far more circumspect and less inflammatory. He could afford to be. Despite two far worse decisions, he said: “I will not criticise the referee. Everyone could see it.”

Still, we all know the AmaKhosi - previously known as the AmaDrawsi with 6 ties in their first 11 league games - are good for South African football with their 15million fans and huge turnover. So we shouldn’t be too surprised when things go their way.

As a nation this year, we've had a former SAFA member banned by FIFA for six years for match-fixing during Bafana Bafana friendlies before the 2010 World Cup. The South African "co-conspirators" in the FIFA scandal remain anonymous. We refuse to divulge attendance figures and there are any number of weird and wonderful explanations for the strange happenings in South Africa football.

It worries me the football media refuse to even raise the topic of bias, replays don't appear, officials maintain a stony silence... and fans react with abuse to honest questions. But it HAS to be discussed.

Personally, I think Bennett did a good job in Cape Town. Chiefs, though not the better side, won fair and square. And injustice was avoided in Durban on Wednesday. 

Let’s just leave it at that. Happy Christmas!


  1. Josheps plays the ball before Lorenzo Gordinho kicked it in.
    and the stats i have show that Klate has 6 goals not 7

  2. just read up on it. it is an offside