Coaches lash out at SA Football Association

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Coaches of the Women’s National League teams First Touch Academy and University of Johannesburg were left fuming after their match was delayed for 90 minutes due to the unavailability of match referees.

The SA Football Association (SAFA) embarrassingly forgot to organise match referees for the encounter which was scheduled for 15:00 at the Old Peter Mokaba on Saturday.

A late call had to be made to request match officials who reside around the Polokwane area to come save the day and officiate the match.

The match went underway, eventually.

The match finally kicked-off an hour and half later without a match commissioner, much to the dismay of both coaches who did not hold back in lashing out at the football mother body for the embarrassment.

Although UJ went on to win the match 4-2, their coach Jabulile Baloyi feels the match should have been called-off.

“I’m very disappointed considering that I have been pushing gratitude towards the association for giving us such a platform and making sure that they grow the sport,” she told FARPost.co.za.

“But if the administrative part is not taken good care of then it becomes a problem for us. It means we must expect worse because it means that Women football is not being taken serious.

“I don’t remember an ABC Motsepe League game having to start one and half hour late. The rules specify that after 15 minutes the game should be called off because both teams are there so what is making this one special? I’m very disappointed,” said Baloyi.

First Touch head coach John Hlako added the same sentiments as his counterpart adding that he had never seen such an incident on his football career.

First Touch mentor John Hlako.

“When the players are ready to start the match at 15:00, but the game starts at 16:30 it’s very wrong. The League knew a long time ago that the game must start at 15:00 here at Peter Mokaba Stadium. They have the fixtures and everything, but this is very much amateurish you understand?

“This is a national League nobody can say they didn’t know about the game. Somebody must take responsibility regarding the situation. It is wrong, they have killed our game. People are travelling from Johannesburg and have to drive back there. When do they arrive in Johannesburg? It is wrong and the one who is responsible about the issue of today must be accountable,” said Hloka.

This is the inaugural season for the Women’s National League which is running without much financial backing and there have been a few complaints on how the league is being run.

The most dominating issue is the travelling arrangements with teams such as First Touch Academy and Richmond Ladies being forced to travel 16 hours by bus to play their games due to lack of sponsorship.

By Ofhani Munyai

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