Football clashes with culture… again!!!

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For a second time this season football players have been forced to either hide or take off their traditional beads by match officials in official Absa Premiership matches as it violates the laws of the game.

Referee Thokozani Mkhize ordered Black Leopards midfielder Xolani Ndlovu to leave the field and cover his incweba necklaces immediately after coming in as a 72nd minute substitute during a League match against Polokwane City.

According to FIFA Law 4: The Players’ Equipment “A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous. All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed”

But as is with Africans, most professional players follow their culture that obliges them to never take off their traditional bracelets or lather bands.

Leopards coach Alan Clark was also left fuming after match officials delayed Ndlovu to enter the pitch during the match at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

“He (Ndlovu) has this necklace, I don’t know if it’s cultural or if its religious so they wanted it covered. I am not sure it was covered for 5 minutes, 6 minutes before they (match officials) decided to put him on so I am not sure why it took so long because it was the same thing when the referee and match official comes over (to check) so I don’t know why it took so long but anyway,” Clark told the media in Polokwane.

In November last year referee Jelly Chavani ordered Siyabonga Dube and Sibusiso Sibeko of Golden Arrows to take off iziphandla (a wristband made out of goat’s or sheep’s skin that is worn by a person after they have performed a ritual).

By Ofhani Munyai

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