Tsichlas: Downs were robbed in '98 final

Telkom Knockout

Former Mamelodi Sundowns managing director Anastasia Tsichlas says it is no secret that the club was robbed in the 1998 Rothmans Cup final against Kaizer Chiefs.

The 1998 Rothmans Cup Final between the two giants will forever remain one of the most memorable games in the history of South African football.

While it brings delight to the hearts of the Amakhosi faithful, for Sundowns fans it will always remain a source of pain and anger.

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Following a pulsating 2-2 draw after 120 minutes, Chiefs emerged 2-1 winners in the penalty shootout, bagging themselves R1-million prize money in what is today called the Telkom Knockout.

But with the scores level at 2-2 in extra time, speedy winger Joel 'Fire' Masilela – who scored a spectacular volley during regulation time – was denied a clear goal by assistant referee Tiny Chandermoney.

Check out Masilela's blinding volley and his incorrectly ruled-out goal that might have given Sundowns a 3-2 win in that final

Masilela was wrongly adjudged to have been offside after receiving a good pass from Alex 'Barnes' Bapela, who also scored earlier in the match, but history tells another story.

"You remember how many times we've been let down by a referee?" Tsichlas laughs as she recalls her memories of the match with KickOff.com.

"Otherwise we would win everything, but we had to be stopped. Ja not once, but two of the Rothmans finals we were robbed. We only managed to win one of the three [laughs].

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"No, but everybody knows that, and I think everybody remembers that. It's not me I'm saying, it's you the journalists who say so. You were the ones who saw what happened, you are the ones who say that we were robbed, definitely."

So we asked the 'Iron Lady' of Mzansi football what she thinks. Was Sundowns robbed?

"No no no, I know I was robbed! I know that [laughs]. But I'm saying that the press is the one that saw what happened," Tsichlas continues.

"I think it was the linesman at the time. I remember it was 'Fire' and then the linesman put a flag up that he was offside.

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"That's happening a lot in football, it's not only in South Africa because we think we are the only ones. I mean you see some top games all over Europe and it's happening.

"But anyway when you rob a club you are robbing all the players and their families of the money... you remember I was the first one, Sundowns in fact was the first team to start the 50 percent prize money thing, do you remember?

"We came up with the idea that whatever we are going to win, 50 percent goes to the players."

Check out the previous Sundowns owners from that glorious era in the late '90s

Downs dominate Chiefs in combined XI

Niemach's take on Nurkovic-less Chiefs

16 stars who repped Chiefs and Downs

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