BAD PIRATES

The un­ruly be­hav­iour dis­played by Bucs fans was shame­ful – it brings the en­tire game into dis­re­pute

CityPress - - Front Page - – Staff re­porter

Ugly scenes of vi­o­lent at­tacks on play­ers and of­fi­cials marred Mamelodi Sun­downs’ vic­tory over Or­lando Pirates at Lof­tus Vers­feld in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day as chaos erupted on the field.

At least 13 peo­ple were in­jured when un­happy Pirates sup­port­ers jumped the fence and stormed on to the field just af­ter Downs scored their sixth goal of the match – the Bucs were still on zero.

A po­lice Nyala had to be sent to the field and po­lice fired tear gas to dis­perse the un­ruly crowd.

The game was halted for more than 30 min­utes, but then re­sumed. The re­main­ing nine min­utes of the match were played with­out Pirates fans, who had left. Ad­ver­tis­ing boards were stripped and the metal bars that sup­ported them were used as weapons as ten­sions rose.

Po­lice last night said they would de­ter­mine charges based on the med­i­cal re­ports, and they planned to source var­i­ous TV footage in a bid to iden­tify the cul­prits and charge them with as­sault and pub­lic vi­o­lence.

While Mamelodi Sun­downs were run­ning riot on Pre­to­ria’s play­ing field with six goals net­ted to Or­lando Pirates’ zero, some Bucs fans could not take de­feat. They lost con­trol of their emo­tions and re­sorted to thug­gery, break­ing chairs and us­ing them as weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

This ob­vi­ously puts South African foot­ball in a bad light, and strong ac­tion must be taken against the cul­prits as they not only put other sup­port­ers’ lives at risk, but bring the beau­ti­ful game into dis­re­pute.

It was hor­ri­ble to wit­ness sup­port­ers sus­tain­ing in­juries and hav­ing to be treated on the field by med­i­cal staff – with po­lice si­mul­ta­ne­ously fir­ing tear gas to dis­perse the un­ruly crowd.

Dubbed “the bat­tle of stars”, this Absa Pre­mier­ship clash turned out to be a no-con­test af­fair as The Brazil­ians hotly de­fended their newly ac­quired rep­u­ta­tion, hav­ing been crowned win­ners of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League last year.

It is clear that the ac­co­lades earned by Pirates in 1995 are a faded mem­ory.

This was not how it was sup­posed to be. Much was ex­pected from the Bucs. But Downs had other ideas as their march to­wards the sum­mit of the log con­tin­ues. They put up a vin­tage per­for­mance and gave noth­ing away.

Fed-up Pirates sup­port­ers in­vaded the pitch af­ter the Brazil­ians’ sixth goal, scored in the 83rd minute.

Sun­downs were un­stop­pable in the way in which they put six goals past a hap­less Jack­son Mabokg­wane. Ex­cept for Gift Mo­tupa’s early miss for Pirates, it was Downs all the way and their vic­tory was well de­served. With this kind of per­for­mance, they are still favourites to re­tain their ti­tle as they show no signs of slow­ing down.

This was the sec­ond time Pirates con­ceded six goals this sea­son. The last time they got half a dozen – against Su­perS­port United – their coach, Muhsin Er­tuğral, re­signed live on tele­vi­sion. In­ter­est­ingly, care­taker coach Au­gusto Pala­cios did not come back from the change room to fin­ish the game.

Based on yes­ter­day’s per­for­mance, it is clear that Pirates need a coach – fast. The Bucs lack di­rec­tion on and off the field. The way in which they suc­cumbed to Downs yes­ter­day showed they lacked in­spi­ra­tion. They were sim­ply never in the Lof­tus game and eas­ily suc­cumbed to the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Pirates’ tech­ni­cal team also got it wrong with their start­ing line-up, which in­cluded two new­com­ers, James Ok­wu­osa and Mark van Heer­den. Left back Thabo Mat­laba was then shifted to the right back, making way for Van Heer­den.

This meant a new back four. As a re­sult, the com­bi­na­tions did not work as they lacked co­he­sion. More­over, Ab­bubaker Mo­bara was de­ployed in the mid­dle of the park in the ab­sence of Issa Sarr.

It was clear as early as the fifth minute that this was not go­ing to work, as Downs eas­ily ex­ploited their de­fence. Bucs’ de­fence was found want­ing on more than one oc­ca­sion, but th­ese warn­ing signs were ig­nored, and they paid the price.

In an­other af­ter­noon en­counter, Golden Ar­rows beat Bloem­fontein Celtic 2-1 at Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium in Dur­ban in KwaZulu-Natal.

For­mer Iran coach Car­los Queiroz and Morocco na­tional team coach Hervé Re­nard have emerged as early fron­trun­ners for the va­cant Bafana Bafana coach­ing job.

City Press has re­li­ably learnt the two have ex­pressed in­ter­est in the po­si­tion.

SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) chief ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis Mum­ble re­vealed that among the more than 30 can­di­dates who had ap­plied for the job were for­mer Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini and for­mer Ital­ian men­tor Gio­vanni Tra­p­at­toni, as well as for­mer Nige­rian in­ter­na­tional coach Sam­son Si­a­sia, three-time Af­con win­ning coach Has­san She­hata of Egypt and João Paulo Costa of Por­tu­gal.

Yes­ter­day, Safa’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee de­cided to ap­point a se­lec­tion panel to sift through the CVs and rec­om­mend the pre­ferred can­di­date by month-end.

Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan said: “We will an­nounce the panel on Tues­day or Wed­nes­day and we are look­ing at for­mer coaches and play­ers.” See box for cri­te­ria (for full story visit city-press.news24.com/Sport)

PHO­TOS: SYD­NEY SESHIBEDI

MAYHEM AND MADNESS Or­lando Pirates sup­port­ers go on the ram­page dur­ing the Absa Pre­mier­ship match be­tween Mamelodi Sun­downs and Or­lando at Lof­tus Vers­feld yes­ter­day. Pirates were los­ing 6-0 when fans vented their fury

PHOTO: SYD­NEY MAHLANGU / BACKPAGEPIX

LADUMA! Or­lando Pirates goal­keeper is de­jected as Mamelodi Sun­downs cel­e­brate yet an­other point scored dur­ing the Absa Pre­mier­ship match played against the Bucs at Lof­tus Vers­feld yes­ter­day

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