'Horrible smell' and 'itchy product' greets PSL side in dressing room
Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler has explained why his team changed in the team bus instead of the dressing room ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Thohoyandou Stadium.
The Team of Choice boosted their chances of remaining in the topflight with a 2-0 win over the Limpopo side‚ to move to six points and top of the log.
Royal Eagles are second with three points‚ while Tshakhuma are bottom after losing their two matches so far.
While Maritzburg got the job done in the field of play‚ it turns out they allegedly had to contend with off the field issues prior to the match.
It’s claimed by Tinkler that there was some "product" in the dressing room that made his players itch.
The decision was then taken to use the team bus as their dressing room.
“You got to understand that you are trying to make the players not focus on those things‚ because we are here for a specific job and that is obviously to try to get the three points‚ you know‚” Tinkler commented after the match.
“But it’s obviously sad when you’ve got situations like that‚ but you got to deal with it and I think we dealt with it in the right way.
“It was worse than that – yeah‚ it (the dressing room) had a horrible smell and worse than that‚ there was some product that they put in there that made everyone itchy‚ you know.
"Everyone was itching (Tinkler laughs)… including myself.
"There seems to have been something in there that was put (and) whether it was on purpose or not‚ I can’t say that‚” he said.
“But obviously it was difficult for us to stay in the change room‚ because all the players were complaining about it.
"So hence the fact that we made the choice to rather go and change in the bus. Those things have happened in the past and it’s unfortunate that it’s happening in these days.
“I remember as a player in the 80s‚ you used to go change in the bus‚ hey (because of muti use in the dressing room)‚” Tinkler added.
For Tshakhuma’s side of the story‚ the club's communications manager Livhuwani Madzuhe laughed off Tinkler’s claims.
Madzuhe maintained that Maritzburg actually went back to the same dressing room after their warm up and were also there at halftime.
“From our side‚ I even went there (to the dressing room) and there was no such thing… I went to both dressing rooms‚” Madzuhe said.
He also confirmed that Maritzburg asked for the dressing room to be cleaned and that’s when they actually agreed to go back after their warm up‚ as well as halftime.
“Maybe Tinkler saw something different‚ but no.
"No one from our side put powder or anything there… later they requested that the dressing room be cleaned and they went back‚” Madzuhe added.
“As TTM‚ we cannot do that – this is a big brand.”
In the next promotion playoffs match‚ Tshakhuma will host Royal Eagles at the same venue on Saturday.