‘Refs must also come to the mic’

No less than three red cards were dished out by Victor Gomes in Friday's top-of-the-table clash between Sundowns and Cape Town City at Athlone Stadium, where Pitso Mosimane was sent off midway through the first half, before City’s goalkeeper coach Brian van der Heever and then skipper Robyn Johannes were given their marching orders in the second half.

Mngqithi says he was perplexed to see his head coach sent to the stands, protesting Mosimane’s innocence.

“No, no, no, there was no reason [for him to be sent off],” he said. “It was a first for me, where your player is fouled, and you are just complaining about the foul – not swearing or anything – you are just putting in a logical complaint to say, ‘how is the foul for the opponents?’ when in essence it’s a foul on our player. And immediately I see the coach getting his marching orders.

“I was very close to him so I can tell you I never heard any insulting words. I’m not lying‚ there is no reason for me to lie.

“Initially I thought they [the match officials] were just telling him to step back. Then when I saw him going [down the tunnel]‚ I even asked my goalkeeper coach [Wendell Robinson]‚ ‘What happened’ because‚ honestly speaking it was a logical complaint.”

Mngqithi feels referees need to take more accountability and explain their actions after the game, which he feels will be beneficial to South African football.

“I’d be very happy if the referee could also come to the microphone like this when he has seen the match and realised his mistake‚ he can say ‘I’m sorry’,” Mngqithi said.

“This is one aspect in football in South Africa in particular that we are not getting. Even in the dying stages of the game, where I believe Percy Tau was offside, Themba Zwane was not offside. If I am wrong, I’m prepared to come to the mic and say ‘I made a mistake’. In this case, Tau was in an offside position, but the ball was played to Zwane who was in an onside position, but the referees ruled it offside.

“If I am wrong, I must be a gentleman and say after that match that I did the wrong thing. Referees should also do this. It will help our football, where people are man enough to say ‘I was right or wrong’.”