‘Football is not tennis’ – Veteran referee agrees with Rhulani Mokwena over Orlando Pirates’ Nedbank Cup penalty

The former PSL match official has sided with the Sundows coach over the controversial decision

Former PSL referee Victor ‘The Principal’ Hlungwani does not feel Orlando Pirates deserved a penalty in the Nedbank Cup final.

Pirates downed Mamelodi Sundowns following a late show that earned them a 2-1 comeback victory last weekend.

Themba Zwane had given Sundowns the lead in the 54th minute but Pirates drew level courtesy of Patrick Maswanganyi’s penalty 16 minutes from time before Relebohile Mofokeng stole it at the death with a well-taken goal.

Maswanganyi collided with Sundonws midfielder Aubrey Modiba as he sought to receive a high ball in the box and after some hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot.

The decision became a subject of discussion after the match, with Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena saying it was an unfair penalty and Hlungwani agrees with him.

“Football is not tennis, where you play alone, you play with other players,” Hlungwani said while analysing key decisions of the match on SABC.

‘Holding must have an impact’

“When there is collusion, players looking for the ball and then they collide, there is no offence committed.

“Here we see, the ball is in the air, Maswanganyi goes in there to Maphosa [Modiba] there. Maphosa behind, they collided. If we say there was a penalty for pushing, where is the push? We can’t find the push.

“If you say there was holding, where is the holding? Because holding must have an impact.

“There is no pushing, no holding that has an impact. It was a normal challenge where play should’ve been allowed to continue. Unfortunately, the referee gave a penalty, which was incorrect.”

The incident came after Sundowns had a penalty of their own in the first half which was saved by goalkeeper Sipho Chaine after Khuliso Mudau was brought down in the box by Deon Hotto. The veteran referee agrees with the decision.

A correctly awarded penalty

“We see here [Khuliso] Mudau getting into the box and now there is a leg of [Deon] Hotto there, impeding the progress of an opponent,” he added.

“Impeding an opponent on its own is a direct free-kick offence. Here, we see Hotto putting his leg in the path of Mudau, the referee is in a good position and correctly awarded a penalty.”

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.