Club Captain Faces A Four Month
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Thursday 20th September 2001
By Kashif Naveed
It took almost 40 hours but the
Premier Soccer League"s (PSL) disciplinary hearing into the
abandonment of the league match between orpi and act has
finally been concluded - and the verdict took almost everyone
The reigning league champions,
Orlanado, were in the dock for their heated encounter against
Ajax Cape Town on August 12th, which ended in farcical
circumstances. The match had to be abandoned - with Ajax
leading 1-0 and five minutes remaining on the clock - when
several of the Pirates' players appeared to physically assault
referee Paulo Marques.
An inquiry was immediately
launched and the PSL delivered its verdict on September 19th,
finding the club and two of its stars guilty. Furthermore,
league officials deemed that the incident was so severe that
it handed out the strictest penalties it has ever done in its
The two players found guilty,
club captain Thabo Mngomeni and Josep Ngake, have been hit
with lengthy suspensions. Two other Pirates" stars, Gerald
Raphahlela and Benedict Vilakazi, have also been
However, the punishments handed
out to them are nothing compared to the penalties faced by
Mngomeni and Ngake. Whilst Raphahlele was warned to his future
conduct and Vilakazi given a four match ban, club captain
Mngomeni was effectively suspended from the game for four
Ngake did not escape the wrath
of the soccer authorities and he faces a six-month suspension
for his part in this sorry mess. The club did not fare too
well either as they were fined approximately US$5,000.
Moreover, Ajax were awarded the three points and the 1-0
scoreline in their favour, which put them into the top five in
the league table.
However, this is not likely to
be the end of this matter, with Orlando prepared to take the
case to the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Pirates" director Cyril Kobus said afterwards:
"We are not happy with the
verdict and will take it to a higher forum (the SAFA's appeal
board) where we are confident we will get a different verdict.
What is paramount here is not how long the case took but we
must ensure that justice is served which it is was not."
Although, they did receive some
sympathy from unexpected quarters when masu"s managing
director Nastasia Tsichlas said: "While we do not condone the
actions of the players, my problem is that no referee has ever
been punished by the disciplinary committee for their
Meanwhile, Ajax"s manager Eric
Dalton had no sympathy: "Pirates brought this on to
themselves. The ruling was justified and is good for football.
Hopefully, this outcome will send out the correct signals and
prevent such incidents in future."