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Mokwena slam match officials after drama-filled clash against Swallows

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has slammed match officials after a drama-filled DStv Premiership match against Moroka Swallows on Monday night.

The Brazilians played to an entertaining 2-2 draw against Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium, with Teboho Mokoena and Marcelo Allende finding the back of the net in both halves for Downs. On the other hand, Augustine Mahlonoko and Gabadinho Mhango scored for Swallows in the second half.

With the draw, Sundowns took their point tally for the 2023/24 campaign to 53 points at the summit of the log standings. Mokwena’s troops remain undefeated in the league, having won 16 and drawn 5 of their 21 matches

The mouth-watering league clash between Swallows and Sundowns was full of controversy, with the referees brought into the spotlight. In recent weeks, there have been countless complaints by coaches and supporters about the dubious calls made by the referees.


Mokwena has launched an attack on the referee Jelly Chavani for awarding Swallows two goals he claims were offside.

“I don’t need to ask for an explanation [on referees’ decisions] because it’s the third time this season Sundowns has VAR, and you [journalists] are not writing about it,” said Rulani Mokwena.

Mamelodi Sundowns in action against Moroka Swallows in the DStv Premiership
Sundowns play to a 2-2 draw against Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium

“Both goals [against Swallows] were offside; the first goal is offside, and the second goal is also offside. I studied the laws of the game very well, I don’t have my licenses for fun. I went to coaching school. You can ask me about any laws of the game. I know the laws because is one of the most important things before you coach.”

Asked how he felt about the decisions, the Soweto-born tactician said, “For me, it’s two things: what does this do to South African Football? Worldwide, I have people who watch Mamelodi Sundowns every single game; what do you think is their perception of South African football?

“That’s the biggest thing. It’s not about me. The game is going to live beyond me and what happens to the image and reputation of South African football?


“Every week, coaches must complain about officials. Ernst Middendorp was complaining, I feel sorry for AmaZulu FC, I feel sorry for Polokwane City FC, I feel sorry for Cape Town Spurs, I feel sorry for teams that are at the bottom because now we give points through the referees.

“I’m not as important as the game; I’m not as important as the other clubs because these other clubs are fighting for their lives. And then Richards Bay will get relegated by one point, and the coach of Richards Bay will get fired because the team is relegated.

“This is not right. You see where we are going every week. AmaZulu coach [Pablo Franco Martín] was crying, poor guy. I’m not going to cry. I will say it as it is. For the first time, I’ll speak; I haven’t spoken about the referees the entire season. This time, I’ll speak because that was not a mistake.

“The assistant referee put the flag for offside and then they consult, who are you consulting? Who was Jelly consulting? He went to the assistant ref, stood there, and started talking. Who was he talking to? Do we have VAR in South Africa all of a sudden?”

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