Coaches need protection from unruly fans
THE Vodacom Premier League is back in full swing after the Christmas break and as c can be expected the thrills and spills have be been captivating players, coaches and fans, s setting in motion a train of emotions which beenbe positive or negative depending on the tea teams’ performances. Three-time Brazilian World-cup winn winning legend Pele called soccer “the beautiful gam game” but as I saw during the past weekend, ev even something so beautiful can have its ugly si side. Despite, the ever present prospect of ra rainfall, Sunday was a sunny day, perfect for the football spectacle that we were trea treated to by Matlama and Liphakoe at LCSL Ground in Maseru. By chance, I happened to sit directly behind the Matla Matlama technical area for the ma match in which the countr country’s most successful team s succumbed to a 0-1 loss. I must say I Iw was disappointed with a particular group of supporters in T Tse Putsoa’s colours who sat quite cl close to the t e am am’s bench.
What began as murmurings of disapproval by the beautifully decked out fans once Matlama conceded in the first half, eventually developed into full scale, ugly verbal abuse directed at the team coach and the rest of the technical staff.
Talk about the ugly side of the beautiful game. Talk also of another Brazilian legend, former coach Tito Santana who failed to win the World Cup despite assembling some of the greatest talents like Zico and Socrates who illuminated the grand stage in Spain and Mexico in 1982 and 1986 respectively with their exhilarating displays.
Santana put it most eloquently when he said that the ball is round and it can roll anywhere.
His was a philosophical acceptance of defeat despite boasting what was widely acknowledged then as the best teams.
Equally, Matlama fans should accept that while theirs remains the most successful club, they are not always going to win each time they take to the field.
I do not have a problem with supporters booing players and the coaching staff if they feel their team is under-performing, but I certainly take exception to adults who serve up the most unpalatable dish of profanities in a public space like a stadium for whatever reason.
This kind of behaviour should never be tolerated and it is time supporters got it into their heads that coaches are family men who need to be respected whether the clubs are winning or not.
And this is true for all clubs not just Matlama.
This kind of behaviour has been going on for some time now and this could be the reason why previous coach Moses Maliehe quit citing too much pressure at the club.
Not long ago, the Maseru giants got into trouble crowd trouble which marred their match against Lioli, resulting in them being fined M10 000.
It is true that Matlama have not been living up to expectations and they urgently need to find the winning formula.
However, that cannot excuse the unruly behavior of a few individuals.
Surely, they do not need to be reminded that the club has found itself in hot water with football authorities on several occasions and cannot afford to lose more money through fines.
There is no way that Matlama coach Seephephe Matete or any coach can focus on the job while dealing with insults at the same time.
This is not good for the image of our football that is in transition from the amateur to semi-professional.
I hope Matlama management will act to stop this immediately.
Matlama coach Seephephe Matete.