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South African footballers call for Thandani 'Bibo' Ntshumayelo's suspension to be reconsidered

Posted: 23 April 2018 Time: 14:00

South African footballers seem to be rallying behind beleaguered former Orlando Pirates midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo, who is pleading for an early return to the game.

Ntshumayelo, commonly referred to as 'Bibo', is nearly half way through a four-year ban slapped upon him by the South African Institute for Drug-free Sports (SAIDS) in August 2016.

This came after the 28-year-old tested positive for benzoylmethylecgonine, otherwise known as cocaine, during a routine post-match doping test on 9 January 2016.

An independent panel then found the central midfielder guilty of the charges levelled against him from SAIDS, after the player himself pleaded guilty. He was subsequently handed the lengthy ban, which he later failed to appeal within the prescribed 21-day window.

Twenty months after the incident, Ntshumayelo sat down for an exclusive interview with KICK OFF Magazine (Issue 493 - currently on sale) as he opened up about the hurt and regret he has been sitting with, and also expressed his wish to have his ban reduced in order to return to the beautiful game before he turns 30.

Many fans have shown sympathy for the Helibron-born player, with some of his former colleagues having now also rallied in support of his early return, taking to social media with a campaign dubbed 'Bring Back Bibo'.

Current Bidvest Wits midfielder Thabang Monare was first to express his support for Ntshumayelo, posting on Twitter: "We are human after all, and we make mistakes."

Turkey-based striker and reigning KO Footballer of the Season Lebogang Manyama as well as ex-SuperSport United captain Thabo September have also shown support.

September said on Twitter: "We miss him on the field and YES we all make mistakes. He learned his lesson #BringBackBibo✊???????? South Africa ????????." He added in another post below.

For the full Ntshumayelo interview and response from SAIDS, get yourself a copy of the latest issue in stores now!

Prefer reading KICK OFF Magazine on screen? DOWNLOAD a digital copy of the magazine here!

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
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