Leopards owner Thidiela found guilty by PSL for abuse of referee Hlungwani

18 January 2019 - 15:20 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Black Leopards chairman and owner David Thidiela addresses media during PSL Special Board of Governors at Emperors Palace in the east of Johannesburg on September 20 2018.
Black Leopards chairman and owner David Thidiela addresses media during PSL Special Board of Governors at Emperors Palace in the east of Johannesburg on September 20 2018.
Image: BackpagePix

Black Leopards owner David Thidiela has been found guilty by the PSL’s Disciplinary Committee for his tirade at referee Victor Hlungwani during an Absa Premiership defeat against Bloemfontein Celtic at Thohoyandou Stadium last year.

Sentencing has been reserved to a later date.

Thidiela threatened Hlungwani in September and made tribal references after Leopards lost the match and he was suspended by the Premier Soccer League from their executive committee (Exco) before the matter was refereed to the league’s prosecutor Nande Becker.

In an audio clip that did the rounds on social media‚ Thidiela was heard to say to Hlungwani: “I allow a mistake to happen at the ground. A mistake can happen to anybody. But this – this is not a mistake.

“I’m giving you the last warning. You come here [to Thohoyandou] at your own risk.”

Thidiela was heavily criticised by the fans‚ the SA Football Association (Safa) and Minister of Sports Tokozile Xasa for his outbursts.

“As the Ministry of Sport‚ we can’t allow what is meant to unite us as a nation to divide us‚” Minister Xasa said at the time.

“There is no place in our country for tribalism. Many people perished not only in our country‚ but on our continent.

“Football is known all over the world as the beautiful game‚ we don’t need owners of teams to spoil that. Let us use sport to build social cohesion amongst our people and not divide them along dangerous tribal lines.”

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