South Africa

Ncikazi spits ‘truth’ on Downs’ benefitting from refereeing errors


Mandla Ncikazi, assistant coach of Orlando Pirates, has voiced his concerns about what he sees as referees’ decisions favouring Mamelodi Sundowns this season. 

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Ncikazi hopes for a fair match when Pirates face Sundowns in the MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday evening.

Ncikazi is suspended for the MTN8 final due to a red card he received in a previous match between the two teams, where Sundowns won 1-0. 

He was sent off after expressing his displeasure with the referees over a controversial penalty awarded to Sundowns when Themba Zwane was ‘tripped’ inside the box.

In the same game, there were other contentious incidents, including Sundowns midfielder Sipho Mbule escaping a second yellow card, and Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams receiving only a yellow card for a professional foul.

Sundowns also benefited from a debated decision in their MTN8 semi-final victory over Kaizer Chiefs when Chiefs were not awarded a penalty. 

Referee Luxolo Badi’s decision in that match led to him being placed in a rehabilitation program by the Safa disciplinary board.

Fairness in Football

Ncikazi emphasised the importance of fairness in football, urging everyone to acknowledge and address the issues that are evident in the game. 

“For the benefits of the game, I’m not the most intelligent in the room or in the country,” Ncikazi said in a media briefing in Durban.

“Let’s see and the truth is in front of us. I hope fairness prevails in football and it’s not like we don’t know what is happening, we all see but we pretend as if we don’t see.

“I see people are quiet because I’m speaking the truth,” added Ncikazi, who is a former Golden Arrows coach.

While Ncikazi has highlighted how the refereeing decisions seem to favour Sundowns this season, Rulani Mokwena has complained of the rough tackles his side get subjected to when they meet the Buccaneers.

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All this talk could just be mind games ahead of the crucial final that both sides would like to come out of triumphant.