The abandonment of the match happened when the match referee was allegedly interfered with, leading to the chaos.
THE NORTHERN Cape final of the ABC Motsepe League that was played on Sunday, was abandoned late in the second half of the match with the unfancied Kimberley Real Madrid leading 3-2.
The abandonment of the match happened when the match referee was allegedly interfered with, leading to the chaos. Sunday’s online platforms posted pictures of the chaotic happenings at the Postmasburg Showgrounds.
Safa provincial secretary Willem Coetzee later on Sunday evening issued a media statement in which he said the league will comment on the matter after reading the referee’s report about the match that took place in Postmasburg.
Matters such as these are immediately referred by the province to Safa’s legal unit which applies the relevant prescripts and sanctions against any breach of the Safa statute.
The situation was still unchanged on Monday.
According to some reports, at some point during the match Real Madrid had retaken the lead putting scores at 3-2. The referee was then allegedly interfered with or threatened in such a way that it was impossible for him to continue officiating.
A lot was at stake in this final of the ABC Motsepe League. None other than Upington City’s own meteoric rise in this league bears testimony to its importance in the football fraternity. These days the purse of this lower, third tier Safa league is so much improved. It is also the stepping stone to the better financed Glad Africa league and from there the Premier Soccer League.
Upington City’s investors, closed a gap in the market by putting money into a venture in which they foresaw the probable prospect of gaining access to the higher rungs of the Safa league hierarchy in the shortest of time possible.
Upington City are newcomers to the NC ABC Motsepe League. Last year Khumalo Chiefs of Upington sold their league status to a consortium of businessmen with strong football links. The consortium registered Upington City in place of Khumalo Chiefs.
The bankrollers of the club also invested sensibly in several football related assets such as coaches and managers. The club was a roaring success in the dual stream ABC Motsepe League, rising to the top on the back of a solid performance on the turf.
At the end of the season Upington City rather controversially emerged winners of the stream – the controversy being over a match in which they admitted to having fielded a player who was at the time serving lawful suspension.
The Safa DC had ruled in Upington City’s favour on the basis that the complaint, about the irregular player, had been submitted beyond the allowed period.
Of course, NC Professionals, the second team in line to contest for the coastal stream ABC Motsepe League championship, did not approve of the DC’s decision on the matter and lodged a legal challenge which sought to have Safa investigate Upington City’s conduct in the whole affair.
That matter is still at court.
Ironically, the source of the chaos on Sunday came from a completely different quarter.
Throughout the week in the lead up to the final of the coastal stream, rumours had emerged to the effect that the game would be disrupted by disgruntled NC Professional supporters.
According to the rumour mill, the NC Pros supporters felt that their club had been snubbed in the run up to the championship in favour of Upington City.
In this contest on Sunday either of the candidates had an equal chance to get automatic promotion to Safa’s Glad Africa League under the auspices of the National Soccer League. Of course, they first had to win the match fair and square.
It would appear that Real Madrid, leading the match with a goal difference at 3-2 on Sunday, did not suit all the people at the park on that day.
The Kimberley side had unexpectedly put up a fight for the title. This had proved too much for the talent laden Upington City to stomach. It did not go according to script for ‘Bafana Be Gucci’ as the side’s catch line goes.
The jury is still out on what Safa will recommend after going through the referee’s report which is the usual procedure when matches end improperly.
Depending on what the match referee says, the Safa statutes will determine how it deals with any breach of the rules.
In related news regarding the Frances Baard regional men’s play-off championship, the administrator Ponatshego Mondela has announced May 28 as the date for the play-off finals of that league.
The finals will be played at Karos in the ZF Mgcawu district.