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Soweto Derby, Did Hlungwani Get It Right?

The recently completed Soweto Derby appeared to be again shrouded in controversy following the performance of referee Victor Hlungwani, and his two assistants.

This comes after questions marks were raised about Daniel Bennett's performance in the MTN8 second leg semi-final in September, between the same two teams, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Read: Did Bennett Get It Right?

The first major oversight seemed to be when Chiefs' equaliser from Kingston Nkhatha was allowed to stand. This despite television replays showing the striker to be in a clear offside position when he converted Siphiwe Tshabalala's cross.

Read: Chiefs And Pirates In Derby Draw

The next point of controversy came later in the game when a major scuffle broke out between both sets of players. The already yellow-carded Willard Katsande was in the thick of the fracas which also appeared to show Andile Jali lashing out after a tackle was made.

The drama seemed to escalate further after Bucs' coach, Roger de Sa, was seen yelling out to the fourth official that it was Katsande who was causing the trouble. However, after tempers had cooled, Hlungwani did not take any extreme action and instead called the two captains aside to ask for calm.

In some quarters he has been commended for taking the action he did by stopping the game and allowing tensions to de-escalate.

Nonetheless, Hlungwani's decision not to firmly take control of the game by issuing some yellow cards to any offenders involved in the incident appeared to be quite surprising. It seems the match official isn't one who usually is reluctant to hand out some cards. In his last four matches in charge, Hlungwani has issued 16 yellow cards as well as one red.

It perhaps brings into question whether referees and match officials are able to cope with the pressure of officiating in such a big game. The Siya crew understands that Hlungwani's performance will be reviewed on either Tuesday or Friday of this week when the PSL's Referee Review Committee is said to regularly meet.

The crew will monitor developments.

 By David Minchella

Follow David on Twitter: @DavidLaduma 


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