Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane insists that instructing his players to get yellow cards in quick succession, for time-wasting during their Absa Premiership clash against Bloemfontein Celtic last night, isn’t “cheating”.
Four players – Gaston Sirino, Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mosa Lebusa – all got booked at the corner flag in the dying minutes of their 2-1 victory over Celtic on Wednesday night and the football fraternity has been split on whether that’s unsporting behaviour.
They are now all suspended for the Nedbank Cup round of 16 tie against low division outfit Vaal University of Technology, but will be available for the next crucial domestic league fixture.
“We have to be honest. We have a lot of yellow cards, five players sitting on yellow cards. If I could, I could have even done the last one (Wayne Arendse). It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t look professional. But everybody is doing it,” Mosimane told reporters.
“You must tell me of a team that hasn’t done what I did. Tell me of one, and I am waiting to hear that person or coach because I know my football. I will tell you, ‘you have done it before’. It’s the way it is. If you want to chase the league, you have to clean the yellow cards.”
The Downs coach went further.
“It’s not cheating. It’s part of the game, they (Celtic) do it also. It’s not delaying. What I don’t like is when you are delaying and you don’t want to play and your goalkeeper starts having hamstrings. That one I don’t like and I don’t encourage my team (to do it). But with this one (yellow cards), the referee has the option to add the time remember? And he did put seven (extra minutes). It’s okay, he acted right. We just don’t have to be emotional about it. I think you saw Pentjie Zulu (Black Leopards defender) against Orlando Pirates. All the players with yellow cards are now suspended,” Mosimane explained.