‘Pirates didn’t lose against Sundowns but against the ref’ — outcry over 'controversial' penalty
POLL| Was the referee correct in awarding the penalty?
Orlando Pirates supporters were unhappy after the side lost on home turf against Mamelodi Sundowns through a penalty 12 minutes into the game at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The penalty, scored by Brazilian midfielder Lucas Ribeiro Costa, has sparked a controversy, with referee Masixole Bambiso's decision in the spotlight.
Sundowns were given a penalty after Themba Zwane was brought down in the box by Siphelo Baloni 10 minutes after the game started.
Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi was given a red card after contesting Bambiso’s decision. He was not the only one unhappy about the decision, as scores of people on social media also complained.
Meanwhile, others defended the referee saying Orlando Pirates fans were lambasting him because they lost the game in the battle for the 2023-24 DStv premiership title.
Orlando Pirates defender Nkosinathi Sibisi described the result as disappointing.
“It is so sad when you get a decision against you so early into the game but what can you do? You always have to try to soldier on. I think the boys fought — especially in the second half we tried to get the equaliser. Hopefully in the next game we will get something,” Sibisi said.
Pirates coach Jose Reveiro, speaking to SABC after the game, said despite losing against Sundowns he was proud of his players. The coach did not want to speak about the controversial penalty.
“It is a difficult job, we have to believe in referees' honesty every time. I don’t know if today they were lucky or not.”
Calls have been mounting for video assistant referee (VAR) technology to be introduced in South Africa.
The debate continues. Here are some reactions from social media:
PSL fans are funny, one weekend they are celebrating benefiting from the refs mistakes and the next it’s “your team is bribing referees” 😂.— wandy. (@Tshiwandy) September 21, 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns is the reason everyone is crying about lot of things in our league. When Chiefs was winning all those cups back in the days, none of yall were talking about referees. Pirates won double treble, there was no noise. Soweto teams feel privileged. Suka🤣— Thabo Molotsi (@goddo82) September 21, 2023
I just watched the incident again even the assistant referee didn't see anything wrong with the tackle. The referee has blood on his hands— Peter Mafreka (@PeterMafreka1) September 21, 2023
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