Rulani Mokwena: South African football is in big trouble

Rulani Mokwena: South African football is in big trouble

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says South African football is in big trouble following the events that transpired this week.

Speaking after their dramatic goalless draw against Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday night, Mokwena referred to the ‘canceled’ game against Moroka Swallows in midweek but also the officiating on the night. 

RECAP: Sundowns held to goalless stalemate at home by Polokwane City

The main talking point was Peter Shalulile’s disallowed goal, as Themba Zwane was adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up, although referee Akhona Makhalima initially looked to have allowed the goal before changing her mind after consulting with her assistant Modisa Moretsi. 

Mokwena, understandably, was not impressed.

"Ja, and then you get this type of officiating that you get today – what the... I mean, South African football is in big trouble, but anyway let me not talk because I will get into big trouble," said a visibly irked Mokwena.

"So, big trouble is big trouble, and big trouble is big, big trouble."

Mokwena also believes that earlier in the game, they were denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity, when captain Themba Zwane was fouled just outside the box with only the goalkeeper to beat. 

He believes this decision could have also led to a red card, but nothing was given, which ultimately negatively influenced the outcome of the match.

"I think Mshishi's situation early in the first half is a situation that leads to a goal, and then the game is different. If the opponent stays at 0-0, and they clearly are here for a 0-0, and the longer it stays 0-0, of course it's going to be a problem.

"We struggled a little bit with the rhythm and tempo at times in the first half, but I think if we make... I don't like to talk about refereeing decisions, but that situation changes the game completely.

"And for it not have not even be a foul is really, really shocking. And then the game stays 0-0, and it's fouls, time-wasting, and this, and that. So, it's sad that we have to close 2023 with the South African public having to witness that.

"That, for me, is a poor advertisement for South African football in general, but let's not be greedy, let's take the point and move on, and that's all."

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