Bucs coach spoils derby delight

Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena speaks to the media.
Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena speaks to the media.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

The Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates has come and gone but football fans will no doubt talk about this match for days to come.

Football was the winner at FNB Stadium on the day and we commend the players of the two teams for reigniting the magic of the beautiful game.

Spectators were kept on the edge of their seats throughout the match as players put their bodies on the line on the pitch.

The match took place while the Springboks were hitting the streets of Port Elizabeth, parading the Webb Ellis trophy. That certainly added the spice to the sports menu on the day.

But we are disturbed by the bickering between Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp and his Bucs' counterpart Rulani Mokwena.

Granted, there will always be tension during matches and coaches will sometimes react tetchily towards each other under pressure. The tension between Middendorp and Mokwena blew up at the media briefing after the match. Clearly, Mokwena did not appear to have taken the setback on the chin and somewhat blamed his rival as he lambasted Chiefs players' behaviour, describing it as "thuggish".

He also questioned the late penalty that won the match for Amakhosi. Mokwena argued that Bernard Parker dived to earn the penalty. He said Parker "goes and gets a swimming pool [to dive into]".

Middendorp insisted the referee's call was correct.

Poor Chiefs spokesperson Vina Maphosa also felt Mokwena's wrath for addressing him by his first name without the title "coach", while he had acknowledged the German as "coach Middendorp".

Maphosa apologised but an angry Mokwena was on the warpath, blasting anything and anyone who had blocked a Bucs victory.

Mokwena should learn to control his temper and accept the defeat. Football, like any other sport, is about winning or losing. He is still young and has a lot to learn and offer SA football. He has the potential of being a good coach and that was on display for all to see on Saturday.

Mokwena, who learnt the ropes from coaches such as Steve Komphela and Pitso Mosimane, can't be seen to be undermining other clubs and coaches as his actions could stain his reputation.

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