Maritzburg's Fadlu Davids explains desperate calls on referee Victor Hlungwane to stop Nedbank Cup match with Royal Eagles due to lightning
Posted: 12 March 2018 Time: 11:00
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids says he begged referee Victor Hlungwane to stop their match against Royal Eagles when flashes of lightning triggered thoughts of Luyanda Ntshangase's ordeal.
Maritzburg forward Ntshangase is fighting for his life in hospital after being struck by lightning while playing in a recent friendly with SAB League side Arsenal in Pietermaritzburg.
Davids was therefore understandably concerned when lightning lit up the sky during United's Nedbank Cup last-16 match with Eagles at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday.
His frantic initial calls for Hlungwane to halt proceedings went unanswered until the 82nd minute. The match resumed 44 minutes later, with ten-man Maritzburg prevailing 2-1 as Siyanda Xulu headed home a last-gasp winner in KwaMashu.
“I was pleading to him [Hlungwane], from a human side on what we went through not too long ago, ‘please can we just go inside for a few minutes’ and they refused,” Davids told reporters.
“Eventually [he did] and I thank him for that to stop the match. We just wanted the safety of our players and that is what it was about.
“Sometimes rules are rules but on the human side, the hardship the players are going through, we have to take it into consideration.
“So I was just begging him to please stop the game. The PSL knows what we are going through. We sent a letter to them so they know,” he added, referring to the club's failed attempt to get their game with SuperSport United postponed following the Ntshangase incident.
Meanwhile, Davids reiterated his disappointment that the match was not staged at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. KickOff.com understands Eagles paid R9000 to hire Durban's Princess Magogo, which is R3000 cheaper than to use Harry Gwala.
“It was about the supporters and now what are they going to say, did they get the advantage or not? Come on guys, let’s be serious,” Davids added.
“The fans from there [in Pietermaritzburg] were asked to drive and all of them missed out on this.
“In the PSL era, will there be another Pietermaritzburg derby? I don’t think so.
“Let’s be honest, it really deprived the fans and still to be knocked out... it’s just a disaster.
“Let’s hope next time they will give it to the fans. Like I said before, I didn’t mind if I lost in Pietermaritzburg. This is the Pietermaritzburg derby... come on, come on guys.
“It’s one of a kind. It is not a Pietermaritzburg derby... perhaps.”