Derby coaches slam refs
BOTH Saturday's derby coaches, Roger de Sa of Orlando Pirates and Stuart Baxter of Kaizer Chiefs, took a swipe at the standard of refereeing in South Africa after their 1-1 draw at Soccer City.
They were unhappy with the officiating of referee Robert Smith and assistants Enock Molefe and Zakhele Siwela, which they said was inconsistent and confusing for their players.
The most controversial decision was a disallowed goal for Pirates striker Collins Mbesuma in the first half. The through-ball had come from a ricochet off a Chiefs player.
Baxter felt his team could have played better, but said the officiating of the game had also made things difficult.
"In the players' defence it's another episode of 'do we get a free kick, is it a yellow card' - and it's difficult to play good, entertaining football in that environment."
De Sa said: "I agree with Stuart. It's a little bit of a lucky packet which way the decisions will go."
Baxter said improving refereeing in South Africa is crucial.
"I said to Roger after the game, 'If we'd lost that game I'd have kept my mouth shut'. But I think you've got to say it the way it is. If a player plays poorly you say it, and you guys [the press] report it.
"Officiating is a massively difficult thing. And I know in a game like this the officials are also under pressure. But I think if we're going to talk about development of the South African game, that's an area that also needs to be developed.
"I've got an opinion, and I hope my players don't get penalised because I'm saying it the way I feel it. ...It's not being disparaging or disrespectful - it's just a part of our game."
De Sa gave examples of what he saw as inconsistencies in the officiating of the derby.
"The first four tackles from their No31 [Willard Katsande], nothing happened. When Andile Jali made his first foul he got booked. He had to play the game on a yellow card, and their No31 didn't."