Ugly behaviour soils beautiful game

Johannesburg – It is often said that football is an emotional game, with both protagonists, read teams, on the field of play striving to win at all cost.

And if you get too emotional, you might overreact and get a red card or let one mistake ruin the whole match.

But for coaches in the dugout or on the touchline, the situation can get so heated that it can result in many a coach losing their cool.

An ugly confrontation ensued when AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy and Orlando Pirates mentor Josef Zinnbauer engaged in a heated argument after a rough tackle on Vincent Pule precipitated Zinnbauer to express his anger towards the AmaZulu bench in the dugout.

No sooner had the match Usuthu lost 1-0 to Pitates ended than the situation turned nasty after referee Siyabulela Qunta blew the whistle for full-time.

It is not clear who the instigator was, but both coaches must take responsibility for their actions.

The fact that both sides are pushing to finish second behind new PSL champions Sundowns and qualify for the CAF Champions League next season, is not reason enough to bring the league into disrepute.

It was a tense game.

Bucs needed the three points at stake to improve their log standings, while AmaZulu lie second.

Bucs are fourth with four points separating the two sides. Golden Arrows are third, but the Buccaneers have an advantage of one game in hand before this weekend’s round of matches. McCarthy and Zinnbauer are under tremendous pressure to prove their worth.

It’s even a dire situation for the Pirates tactician whose one-and-a-half seasons at the helm has been marked by calls from fans for him to step down after being knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup following a 4-0 thrashing by Raja Casablanca of Morocco last weekend. McCarthy, in his first season with Usuthu, is also gunning for a Champions League spot.

He blamed Qunta for his team’s loss, alluding to the fact that his team had a four-point advantage over Bucs who want to narrow the margin by playing dirty. His frustration – because he believes Qunta was biased in favour of a team owned by PSL chairman Irvin Khoza – spilled over onto the field at full-time and Zinnbauer himself didn’t help the situation.

Both coaches were agitated as they argued and had to be separated by their technical team members.

It will be Qunta and match commissioner Shaleen Salot’s duty to submit a comprehensive report to the PSL for the league to take remedial action.

Xolile Mtshazo

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