Former FIFA referee Ace Ncobo has discussed the controversial incidents of the MTN8 semi-final second leg between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, insisting three decisions by referee Luxolo Badi were wrong.
Ncobo, who now works as General Manager of the PSL, has once again assessed the major talking points of the recent week, with there being huge outcries of Badi’s performance in the game.
The first incident came right at the kick-off when Peter Shalulile scored the fastest goal in MTN8 history, after winning the ball from Brandon Petersen straight following the Chiefs kick-off and converting from a tight angle.
However, Ncobo insisted Shalulile’s starting position was wrong and he should’ve been recalled.
“The players of the team that is not taking the kick-off must be outside the centre-circle,” he argued on SuperSport’s Extra-Time.
“He [Shalulile] is inside the centre circle, which is means he’s infringing the laws of the game, he’s supposed to be called back outside the circle area.”
Ncobo then went on to discuss an incident in the second half when Sundowns midfielder Teboho Mokoena appeared to have fouled Edson Castillo following a corner, but nothing was given by the match official.
“Holding an opponent is an infringement and if you hold an opponent inside your own penalty area then the referee must blow the whistle and award a penalty against you,” he continued.
“Look at holding an opponent, look at [Mokoena], he’s actually holding his [Castillo’s] arm and pulling him away from being able to head that ball. A clear penalty.
“When you have a referee with a clear view at an incident like that, you expect it to be given.”
Finally, the biggest talking point came in the 92nd minute when Thapelo Maseko appeared to have kicked Mduduzi Mdantsane right in front of Badi, but again no penalty was given.
“The defender [Maseko] loses control of the ball, who is then in a better position to take control of the ball? That’s not a 50/50,” Ncobo explained.
“He [Mdantsane] is in front, he is in possession of the ball and he steps into that space to claim possession of the ball, which he already has.
“When he is in possession of the ball, the kick comes in and that’s when the referee should’ve decided this is a foul on the attacker, who is in possession of the ball.
“There is no case whatsoever to be made that the striker initiated the foul.”
Pirates vs Sundowns
Ncobo also looked back at the match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, to discuss the controversial moments of that match.
He first explained that the match official made the right decision to award Masandawana an early penalty for a trip from Siphelo Baloni on Themba Zwane.
“Law 12, tripping or attempting to trip an opponent. There is tripping. It’s one of those infringements where we don’t even look for intention,” Ncobo stated.
“There is no referees opinion involved, we just look at whether or not the player is tripped and when a player is tripped like that inside the penalty area then the referee is left with no option but to give it because the law leaves no room for a referees opinion, leaves no room for any other referee consideration regarding intention.”
Another controversial incident came just before the break when Ronwen Williams brought down Zakhele Lepasa outside the penalty area, with Ncobo arguing the Sundowns keeper should’ve been sent off instead of being shown a yellow card.
“Had he not been fouled, he would’ve had an obvious opportunity to score a goal,” he said.
“Yellow is not the correct colour of card there, because he was denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity. It should’ve been a red [card].
“There is an infringement by the goalkeeper and that infringement takes away the obvious goalscoring opportunity. That’s where the red card should come in.”