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HomeCarling Knockout CupWatenga Joins Magoola To Be Excused In Carling Cup

Watenga Joins Magoola To Be Excused In Carling Cup

Lamontville Golden Arrows goalkeeper Ismael Watenga has joined a few players not playing in the Carling Knockout Cup due to being Muslim.

The Mamelodi Sundowns goalie, who is on loan at Abafana Bes’Thende, missed the game as Arrows were overwhelmed by city rivals AmaZulu 3-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, iDiski Times has been informed.  

It was the second time the Ugandan international missed the match in the Carling Cup, having also decided to be left out when they beat Cape Town City in the first round.

In both matches, Arrows opted for Nigerian international goalie Olufemi Kayode, who was left blooded on Saturday when Junior Dion clashed with him after scoring the second goal of his hat-trick in the first half.

Watenga joins Abdi Banda and Salim Magoola of Richards Bay, who have also opted not to participate in this cup and it is believed due to their Islamic belief.

Different players and different clubs have handled the situation differently, and while some players opted not to play in the tournament sponsored by Carling Black Label, Sundowns duo Abdelmounaim Boutouil and Reyaad Pieterse played when the Tshwane giants lost to TS Galaxy in the competition’s first round without the Carling Black Label logo on their jerseys.

Cape Town Spurs defender Nazeer Allie followed suit as he also played when they lost to Orlando Pirates without the sponsored logo, while a few others opted to play.

Meanwhile, coach Mabhuti Khenyeza didn’t want to blame his players for the way they collapsed in the first half in the three-goal glut by Dion at the hands of AmaZulu because he’s going to need them this season.  

“What I’m trying to say is, in our team, we don’t blame anyone else, especially with our players because it is my job to protect them,” said Khenyeza.

“I can see you guys are trying to push me in the corner to pinpoint certain players – these are our players, these are my players, they played, they are still going to play. I’ll never do that to blame the players because they still have a long way to go.

“It is all us as coaching staff and the application of the training session but the players again – I’m happy, they did very well, they performed, they applied themselves fully which is good.”

It was the first loss under Khenyeza since he was appointed early in September after his co-coach Vusi Vilakazi resigned, and it was followed by another defeat to Royal AM on Tuesday. But despite the losses, Arrows have done well this season, lying third on the table with 20 points after nine matches.

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They next face AmaZulu again, this time in the league, at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday, 12 November.

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.