Both the spirit and sportsmanship of the beautiful game of soccer was ruined during a series of UJ Campus Football League (UJCFL) matches on Saturday due to some heated controversies.
The UJ APB soccer field fields housed several soccer matches that marked the third week fixtures of the League.
The day started with plenty of excitement as teams arrived with song and dance; however, later to their misfortune, the enjoyment did not last long as scuffles sparked in some of the games.
Raging anger sprouted from the stands and benching team mates as the referees’ inept decision making heated the atmosphere during a game between Mayine FC and Khayalethu FC.
“These ref’s just run around with the whistle around their necks,” shouted an outraged fan as a foul was dismissed.
Having noted the initial referee’s lack of skill, both opposing team coaches agreed to have the first referee replaced with UJCFL soccer official Mbongiseni Ndaba in the second half.
“The referee made simple mistakes, but we cannot allow them to happen continuously because teams will lose for those mistakes,” said Ndaba.
Mayine FC coach Glad Nkula complained saying that the bad refereeing had frustrated him and his players. Playing without linesmen on the field was the discovered problem for referees as they were alone on the field without assistance on off-sides.
“It is tough for the referees to make decisions obviously because of the fans always on their case. They also need assistance in the form of linesmen and I don’t really blame them because these fields are big,” said a Mayine FC defender who wished to be kept anonymous.
Amidst the disappointment of Maine and Khayalethu’s referee scandal, chaos brewed in another field where Sophia Nights FC and Kopano FC went head-to-head in a scuffle that caught the attention of many onlookers.
Kopano won with a score of 2-0 against Sophia Nights, and tempers flared at the end of the game due to the misunderstanding of property (personal soccer balls). The opposing teams went at each other clenched fists.
A glass bottle was broken as a Sophia Night’s goalkeeper went for the attack. To defend himself, the Kopano FC player on the receiving end responded aggressively and kicked the charging goalkeeper for his safety. Both were pulled apart before any further injuries occurred.
“I just think they ruined the day for us. This is not the spirit of soccer,” complained Sophia Nights defender who wished to remain unknown.
A disciplinary hearing is said to happen on Monday at 16:00 pm in UJ APB club house. Both teams are likely to suffer a decrease in points and possible suspension for the culprit players.
(Contact Sinenhlanhla Ngwenya: firstname.lastname@example.org)