Johannesburg - There was a moment of keen interest in the Tshwane derby between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United on Saturday night.
Hlompho Kekana and Colombian Leonardo Castro scored to hand Sundowns a 2-0 win. Sundowns’ technical team passed notes to players with mixed results but was their move against the laws of the game?
Midfielder Bongani Zungu used a stoppage to receive the first note and give it to Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango. Within a couple of seconds, Denis Onyango created an interruption so that he could tie a boot lace that had come undone.
While the goalkeeper slowly tied his lace, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane huddled his team to the touchline for tactical instructions. Soon after, another note was given to midfielder Kekana, but he failed to complete reading it as referee Phillip Tinyane confiscated it.
According to retired referee Andile Ace Ngcobo, the referee was wrong to take that kind of action and interfered with tactical messages. However he admits that it’s unsporting behaviour.
“The referee has no business with tactical communication between the coach and his players because in the laws of the game the only prohibited thing is the electronic communication system. The law says, a member of the technical team may convey tactical instructions but it doesn’t prescribe what method to use.”
“Think of a coach who is born mute, how would he communicate with the players? Using gestures of course, but would you stop him from writing small slips and conveying tactical instructions? Is it not a tactical ploy to ask the goalkeeper to delay a bit in order for you to give some tactics? It’s not sporting behaviour but it hasn’t fallen foul of any law,” said Ngcobo on SuperSport TV show Extra Time with Robert Marawa.
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