Rage over extra time

Sakhile Mokoena

An Mpumalanga soccer coach appeared in court yesterday charged with assaulting a referee.

Thabo Ndlela, coach of amateur side Seven Stars, was not asked to plead in the Witbank magistrates' court and the case was postponed to May 15.

Ndlela, 27, is accused of assaulting referee Sipho Mahlangu during an SAB League game against Manchester in March.

After the referee had blown the final whistle, a fuming Ndlela stormed on to the field and allegedly assaulted Mahlangu, accusing him of adding more minutes for injury time and allowing Seven Stars' opponents to equalise.

Seven Stars supporters joined Ndlela and chased the referee around the field.

Police were called and Ndlela was arrested and charged with assault.

He is out on R1000 bail.

The teams played to a 1-all draw after Seven Stars kept their lead until the dying minutes.

The coach has been suspended by the league's disciplinary committee and his team was fined R3000.

This is not the first controversy surrounding Seven Stars. In February, a referee was arrested for allegedly trying to fix a match against Lynville All Stars.

It is alleged that referee Sana Mashiyane approached Seven Stars' president Peter Molepe and demanded R700 to fix a win for Molepe's side.

Mashiyane is out on R1000 bail .