The verdict has been handed down and Orlando Pirates player Thandani Ntshumayelo will receive a four-year ban from professional football for his use of the banned substance, cocaine. This has got the supporters debating: does the punishment fit the crime?
A four-year ban is no small deal, especially for a professional soccer player. "Bibo" is 26 years old, meaning that when this ban finishes he will be 30 and his career will be all but over, and along with it his and his family's main source of income. Many supporters feel the sentence is too harsh.
"I feel sorry for him. People must know that we sometimes make wrong decisions. This boy is still young and somehow got tempted like anybody's son/daughter. Some even end up dead from those childish decisions. Face the charge head on boy, and work on coming back to the grounds. It does not mean gore after you played so much for my team I can talk about you like I am talking about a stranger." – The Mikeman
"Level of rivalry here really surprises me... Doesn't really matter which team I support, but a South African young man at the age of 26 losing four years of his life isn't anything to rejoice about. Anyway, good luck Bibo... We all make mistakes and I surely hope that this will not be the beginning of your downward spiral but rather will act to push you to better yourself, even if it's outside football. God bless you!" – TebzaBhaKajuju
Others feel less mercy and say that there have been plenty of examples around for players like Bibo to learn not to make these kinds of mistakes.
"Our players just don't learn. The likes of Jabu Mahlangu and Junaid Hartley are always out there preaching about the consequences of drugs in their soccer careers. Then this happens. At 30, it will be hard for him to come back; the likes of Jabu and J. Kanye tried and none has succeeded. Good thing he has no one to blame but himself." – MGG06
Where do you sit on this debate? Is the sentence too harsh?