A decision has been made to charge Pitso Mosimane with bringing the game into disrepute but he will not be asked to appear before the Premier Soccer League’s disciplinary committee until after Mamelodi Sundowns’ odyssey in the African Champions League is over.
The Premier Soccer League has kept silent on a possibility of Mosimane’s prosecution after the pre-match shambles overshadowed the MTN8 quarter-final against SuperSport United in August when Sundowns defiantly warmed-up on the wrong side of the field‚ disrupting the pre-match preparations of their opponents‚ and refusing initially to sit on the left-hand side bench as per the rules.
Mosimane was involved in a heated argument with PSL officials‚ including chief operations officer Ronnie Schloss and match commissioner Job Smith.
The coach eventually relented but only after he was told that if he did not comply‚ Sundowns would forfeit the game.
The ‘Downs coach later apologised for his behaviour but after studying a report on the incident‚ the league’s prosecutor is to go ahead and file charges‚ according to PSL insiders.
But these are being held off until after Sundowns have completed their African Champions League campaign‚ they said.
This is because the PSL is fearful of being painted as anti-Sundowns following the criticism they received after failing to grant the club a postponement of matches ahead of their Champions League semifinals against Zesco United of Zambia.
The perception that the league is against Sundowns was given added fuel by the public relations faux pas and to now haul Mosimane before the disciplinary committee would be seen as a further provocation‚ insiders added.
The incident came after Mosimane refused to follow the rules on which side his team had to warm-up before the game and on which bench they had to sit during it.
He explained later he had been thrown by a change of routine at the venue.
“We always sit on the right hand of the halfway line and warm-up on that side too. The home side has to sit on the right. I’m not comfortable sitting on the left.
“If I come to your house and sit on the chair that you always used to watch TV‚ will you be happy?” he asked. “I was not happy”.
“But I was told that if I don’t sit on the left‚ I would forfeit the match. I did not want that to happen. I was a little bit arrogant‚” a contrite Mosimane said later.
According to PSL rules‚ teams must warm-up and sit on the bench closest to where their change room is. Sundowns had a change room at Loftus Versfeld to the left of SuperSport.
Aware of the rule‚ SuperSport refused to budge and so both sides warmed-up on the same side of the field ahead of the match in a childish stand off.
“It was a fleck of shame on South African football that we can have things like that happen‚” said Baxter. “It was a parody and it meant our warm up was compromised. We could have asked to win the match by forfeit but I wasn’t going for a walkover. That’s not our style.”
Sundowns won the match 3-1.