Absa Premiership

Awards: Why the lower standards?

2017-07-02 06:00
Timothy Molobi

Johannesburg - There are lots of surprises in football, especially when it comes to award nominees. And, it seems this season, there is also no fair play at the Absa Premiership awards.

The league has relaxed some of the requirements for award nominations, meaning a player does not have to play a certain percentage of matches to be eligible for an accolade.

The list of nominees did not come without surprises, and some nominees caused raised eyebrows.

But the most disappointing aspect is the tweaking of criteria for various categories.

Poor run

A closer look at the new criteria suggests they have been adjusted to accommodate certain players.

For instance, it is no longer a requirement for a goalkeeper or a player to have played at least 70% (21 out of 30) of the club’s matches. The new rules are silent on a replacement criterion for these categories, possibly leaving room for abuse.

Had the previous criteria of 70% still been applicable, Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango would not have made it. The shot-stopper played only 18 matches and missed 12 because of injuries. This means he was only involved in 60% of the club’s league matches, compared to others such as Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic and Mbongeni Mzimela of Platinum Stars, who played more than 70% of their clubs’ games.

Perhaps they are paying for their clubs’ poor run in the league. The big question is: Do players only qualify for winning medals?

Polokwane City’s George Chigova is the only goalkeeper to have played all his club’s league matches and should have at least got a mention. He was the reason City finished sixth on the table – their maiden top-eight finish – but he was overlooked for someone who has played fewer matches than he has.

And how did Shu-Aib Walters get the nod ahead of Mzimela? They both played the same number of matches, but Mzimela has a better record than the Cape Town City veteran goalkeeper. The Stars goalkeeper kept more clean sheets (11) than Walters (eight) and even conceded fewer goals (22) than the former let in (29).

Even Kaizer Chiefs’ number one Itumeleng Khune should have been considered with his record of 21 matches, nine clean sheets and 15 goals conceded.

Crucial role

Another contentious one is the young player of the season award, which has also left many supporters asking questions.

While there are no issues with Golden Arrows’ Nduduzo Sibiya’s nomination, despite his club finishing in the eighth spot, the shortlisting of Bidvest Wits’ speedy winger Phakamani Mahlambi and Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns is not without controversy.

The two have played 13 and 12 games, respectively, whereas last season’s winner – SuperSport United’s Aubrey Modiba – was overlooked despite featuring 24 times for Matsatsantsa A Pitori. Or does the fact that he won last season rule him out?

Mahlambi was sidelined for most of the first half of the season and only came back in December. He played a crucial role in helping Bidvest Wits summit the log and eventually lift the Absa Premiership championship. After helping Mamelodi Sundowns’ junior team lift the MultiChoice Diski Challenge trophy, Madisha was rewarded with first-team action and played 12 times for the league’s runners-up.

But the duo meet the category’s new judging requirements of having played 40% of the matches.

Instead of lowering the standards, the league should set the bar higher – even if no one meets the requirements – rather than going down to their level.


What should the criteria for the awards be?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword PSL and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

Read more on:    psl  |  johannesburg  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Maritzburg United v SuperSport United, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United, Goble Park 15:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu FC v SuperSport United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.