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By Sabelo Ndzinisa - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-05-Sep-2009

I almost fell off my chair reading an article about an incident that apparently played itself out at the Somhlolo National Stadium last Friday in an MTN League game involving Eleven Men In Flight and Hub Sundowns.

At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me after reading that an Eleven Men player, who originates from Ghana, did a Ďkung-fuí attack on an unsuspecting local premier league referee after he was given a red card for a professional foul.

This player, known as Nana, vented his frustrations on referee Enock Silenge, unleashing powerful punches that would have even left former world heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson green with envy. It was despicable, to say the least.

We understand that in soccer, emotions sometimes do run high but we do not expect professional players to allow this to override their level of reasoning. What this guy did can never be condoned, no matter how apologetic he can be. His actions show that he joined the wrong sport, maybe he should consider trying boxing where such acts are allowed. He failed to act as a professional and must be made to pay for his sins.

Itís a pity that he has now put his team into serious trouble with the Premier League of Swaziland (PLS) because, according to the rules and regulations of the league, a E15 000 fine awaits the Siteki-based outfit if found guilty by the Disciplinary Committee (DC) of this offence.

This is not meant to influence whatever punishment would be taken against the team or the player but some of us are following the developments in this case with keen interest. Football is a sport that is supposed to unify people, not to instigate violence.

As much as local referees do commit glaring blunders but players should not take matters into their own hands when they feel aggrieved by a decision. Silenge is even fortunate that police officers present at the stadium quickly intervened and saved his skin because the player was apparently hell-bent at beating the daylights out of him.

Itís such things that tend to create a negative picture of our football, particularly when it is done by players. How do you explain such to the sponsors, MTN especially when they have openly declared their unhappiness on the administration of the league?

You donít expect such and Iíd be happy if Eleven Men also take strong action against the player. If anything, such foreign players who have no respect for local referees should not just be suspended but told to pack their bags and head back to their countries. We donít want such nonsense in our league! Iím even surprised that PLS CEO Sydney Simelane has not uttered even a single word on this incident. I mean, this happened in full view of those present at the stadium and an efficient CEO would have quickly released a statement condemning this but not uMnguni, who instead is busy displaying his stinking attitude towards journalists.

He should be focusing his energy on cleaning such mess in our football instead of prouncing around his ego towards journalists because, for his information, some of us are not intimidated by him.

No one wins a battle against the media, no matter how hard they try. He should ask his predecessor, Iím sure he would get better advice on what happens when you mess around with the media.

Anyway, my point is that Simelane should be seen to be doing something, not just to wait for the Disciplinary Committee (DC) to deal with the case. We donít want karatekas or boxers in this game but football players who will adhere to the laid down rules of the game. We should all unite to eradicate elements of violence in our game. Got that, Mr CEO? Enjoy your weekend!

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Note: The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect those of Swazilive.com

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