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Did Pirates Benefit? Ncobo Assesses MTN8 Final Decisions

Former FIFA referee Ace Ncobo has discussed the controversial moments from the MTN8 final, saying referee Abongile Tom got most of his calls right, but made one big mistake to benefit Orlando Pirates.

The Buccaneers beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 on penalties after the tightly-contested MTN8 final had ended goalless inside 120 minutes.

There were several penalty claims by Rulani Mokwena’s men, but Ncobo said that Tom got his first two decision spot on, starting with the alleged handball by Bandile Shandu inside the box.

“Was it a penalty? Remember we said if the ball touches the arm of a player, having come of another limb of the player’s body, then the referee will look away,” he said on Extra-Time.

“Did the ball touch another part of the player’s body? Look at the ball, it touches the shoulder, where it goes next is irrelevant – even if it goes onto the arm, it’s irrelevant because it has touched the same player’s body where it is not punishable.

“It does touch the shoulder, which makes it not a penalty. Even it had not touched another part of the body, I still wouldn’t have given it as a penalty based the fact that the arm is where it should be.”

The next incident is the alleged foul by Sipho Chaine on Lebohang Maboe, but Ncobo explains that the Pirates goalkeeper was first foul by Peter Shalulile.

“By the time the goalkeeper commits that offence, the referee has already made a decision about an offence that occurred earlier,”

“Because if there are two offences that take place, one after the other, the referee looks at the one that occurs first.

“Shalulile fouls the goalkeeper, that’s what the referee sees. By the time Chaine fouls Maboe, the referee has already decided on the foul against the goalkeeper [by Shalulile], which happened before the one that is so blatant committed by the goalkeeper.”

Finally, Ncobo insists that Tom got the latest controversial moment wrong, saying Shalulile should’ve received a spot-kick following a foul by Miguel Timm.

“Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent,”

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“If you trip an opponent, whether or not there is an intention to trip is irrelevant. The law says tripping or attempting to trip an opponent.

“In that instance Shalulile is fouled by a player [Timm] who commits the same offence he [Shalulile] committed on the goalkeeper.

“Butting in the opponent by the player in black [Timm], Shalulile still tries retain possession of the ball, but the player in black trips him.

“That’s a foul, should’ve been a penalty.”

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.