Coaches need pro­tec­tion from un­ruly fans

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.