Orlando Pirates have explained the reason why certain players were sporting different jersey numbers in the first leg CAF Confederation Cup tie against Uganda Revenue Authority at the Orlando Stadium this past Saturday.
Bucs captain, Oupa “Ace” Manyisa who normally wears jersey number 20 was wearing number 10, whilst striker Kemit Erasmus who dons the number 95 was sporting number 22 during the cup tie.
Both the numbers 10 and 22 have been retired by the Buccaneers in honour of legends Jomo Sono as well as the late Lesley Manyathela.
“The rules are fairly simple on this matter. Rule 6.5 of the regulations states that the jerseys of the players must be numbered from 1 to 30, and they must be identical to the numbers indicated on the players’ licenses for the whole duration of the competition. It’s not just in CAF games even the World Cup has rules where players must wear 1 to 23”, said Bucs Administrative Officer, Floyd Mbele.
“We complied with the rule and looked at which numbers we had available between 1 and 30 then allocated them accordingly. Our keepers wear 1 and 16 so we gave that to Brighton and Zikalala respectively. We also freed up all the higher numbers so that in the event of someone coming in at the next registration window, then there are numbers available,” he added.
The Pirates official further explained the reasoning behind Pirates playing without the Vodacom logo in the 2013 CAF Champions League.
“Outside of a special exception by the CAF committee, the teams involved from the group stages onwards shall not be authorised to wear sponsor logos on their jerseys, more so when the sponsors conflict with those of the competition (in the case of Vodacom and Orange Mobile). It’s all there in the manual,” he concluded.
Bucs’ registered players and numbers for the CAF Confederations Cup are as follows: (1) Brighton Mhlongo; (2) Ayanda Gcaba; (3) Patrick Phungwayo; (4) Happy Jele; (5) Mpho Makola; (6) Thandani Ntshumayelo; (7) Daine Klate (pre-registered ahead of transfer); (8) Thabo Matlaba; (9) Lehlohonolo Majoro; (10) Oupa Manyisa; (11) Sifiso Myeni; (12) Lehlogonolo Masalesa; (13) Ntsikelelo Nyauza; (14) Lucky Lekgwathi; (15) Thabo Qalinge; (16) Philani Zikalala; (17) Lennox Bacela; (18) Issa Sarr; (21) Siyabonga Sangweni; (22) Kermit Erasmus; (23) Helder Pelembe; (24) Khethokwakhe Masuku; (25) Thabo Rakhale; (28) Rooi Mahamutsa; (30) Thamsangqa Gabuza.
Available numbers: 19, 20, 26, 27 and 29.