Tom is not my referee of the year – Mosimane

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In the aftermath of the draw between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits at Loftus Stadium last night, an agitated Pitso Mosimane tore referee Abongile Tom to shreds.

Known for shooting from the hip, the Sundowns coach did not hold back.

In fact, at fulltime, when Tom left the pitch, Mosimane was seen following the man in the middle to the tunnel remonstrating. Mosimane expressed his discontentment at Tom’s handling of the game mentioning two veteran referees who could have fared better.

“Very difficult game for Tom, the referee. Referee of the year last year. To be at that level we need consistency. You need to show what you have but I could see the way the match started that it needed a Victor Hlungwani or a Victor Gomes. He (Tom) still has a long way to go. He is not gonna be my referee of the year,” said Mosimane.

PSL referee Abongile Tom.

During the goalless draw Tom gave Wits defender Buhle Mkhwanazi matching orders for a second bookable offence but Mosimane felt Mkhwanazi’s central defence partner Thulani Hlatswayo should have also walked.

“I think Tyson had nine lives tonight. I just could not believe with Keletso (Makgalwa) or was it Pitso (Mkhulise) as the last man and he tackled from behind.

“I don’t know what you call that. And above that he still goes on the side and he clutters Pitso. The funny part is the referee orders the medicals to come in and check the player. Under normal circumstances, yes he is right to check the player. The player should be looked at. For that long you have a player on the pitch and you attend a player for that long on the pitch, normally when that happens, it’s a yellow card,” lamented Mosimane.

“He didn’t also order him to go out of the pitch. I said okay it’s a straight yellow because those are the principles. And then he goes to the corner there. They are hugging each other, I don’t know what they are doing. And then lovey-dovey talk. I mean what are they talking? Why he doesn’t take him? Because you gave another one a red card, you can give again another red. I mean it is straight forward.”

Bidvest Wits skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo.

On the night where Sundowns and Wits gave log leaders Kaizer Chiefs a sigh of relief, Tom dished out eight yellow cards – two to Sundowns players, five to Wits players and one to Wits coach Gavin Hunt.

Mosimane questioned Themba Zwane’s yellow card which rules the playmaker out of their clash against Orlando Pirates next week.

Mosimane’s men should also be faulted for not being ruthless enough. They fluffed many chances. The result favoured Chiefs, atop with 35 points, as none between Sundowns and Wits moved closer to the log leaders. Mosimane is not that bothered about the Absa Premiership table, where they are second with 32 points and Wits are third with 27 points.

Sphelele Mkhulise and Zitha Macheke battling it out at Loftus.

“We are just disappointed with this game. It’s not about the other people. It is this game. We should have wrapped it up. For me with 11 v 11, we should have wrapped it up but it is one of those,” said Mosimane, who maintained that it was too early to decide the destination of the title.

“May is a bit far. The two teams tonight they cancelled each other neh. Even in Mabhida, we cancelled each other. Let’s see, Wits have to play Chiefs twice. It’s also a cancelling each other there. It’s a long way,” he said.

“You keep going. You do what you have to do. You never know. I think Wits mathematically have a chance to catch Chiefs but they are also dropping points now. You understand what I am trying to say and they can say the same thing about us that we dropped two points tonight. It’s part of it. It’s part of life. What are you going to do? You gotta move on.”

By Hosea Ramphekwa 

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