Bafana legends Tinkler and Benni smoke the peace pipe

His one-time public spat with Benni McCarthy is years in the past‚ and should not be a feature in any way of Saturday’s MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler has said.

Then-Bidvest Wits assistant-coach Tinkler and his head coach Roger De Sa were involved in a fiery exchange with McCarthy when the legendary Bafana Bafana striker was winding down his career for Orlando Pirates in 2011.

In December of that year McCarthy and his former Bafana teammate Tinkler‚ and De Sa‚ whose time with the national team had narrowly preceded the striker’s‚ became embroiled in a fiery spat with the Wits coaches during the Telkom Knockout final.

As McCarthy played a starring role inspiring Bucs’ 3-1 victory‚ he raised the ire of Wits’ bench with some challenges and a slapping match with Clever Boys right-back Sipho Mngomezulu.

“You’re talking years back now. I think it’s eight years ago‚” Tinkler said this week‚ adding years to an even that in fact took place six years ago.

“But it’s not about me or Benni. This is about SuperSport Cape Town City. So‚ I’m not going to answer questions on that.”

McCarthy this week also moved to bury the hatchet with Tinkler.

“The focus is not on Eric‚” the City coach told a press conference.

“What happened‚ happened‚ it’s in the past. We’ve all moved on. My focus now is just on my team.”

McCarthy and De Sa had to be restrained form each other’s throats by Pirates coach Julio Leal after the 2011 final.

De Sa apparently told the overweight McCarthy he was “paid by the kilo”. Former FC Porto‚ Blackburn and West Ham striker McCarthy told De Sa and Tinkler that he could pay both their salaries.

After the game McCarthy went on a tirade against Tinkler and De Sa.

“For Roger de Sa and Eric Tinkler‚ former players‚ to behave like that‚ I think that should be thrown out the game‚” he said.

“That is why they are coaches at Wits and not the Gavin Hunts and Steve Komphelas of this league. They know what they did – I don't have to spell it out.

“If they want to get nasty‚ I can get very nasty. Because what I have achieved in my career in football‚ and what they have achieved – if you want to compare medals and achievements and money‚ then I would be glad to join in that conversation because I know I would come out right on top.

“Eric Tinkler thought we were still team-mates in the national side. I even forgot that we played together in the national team.

“He tried to be smart so I had to put him in his place. … He is lucky I didn't slap him.”

Adding spice to their rivalry‚ in their recent history McCarthy replaced Tinkler‚ who joined SuperSport after steering City to third place last season‚ at the Cape club for the ex-striker’s his first head coaching position this campaign.