Riveiro defends under-fire Pirates star

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Tyrone Damons, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Kermit Erasmusduring the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
Tyrone Damons, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Kermit Erasmusduring the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
Lefty Shivambu

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro come to the defence of club goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, who was booed by a section of Bucs' supporters during the side's DStv Premiership against Stellenbosch on Saturday.

The shot stopper found himself at the receiving end of some boos as he warmed on the sideline to potentially come on as substitute during Pirates 4-1 win over Stellenbosch on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium.

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Peaking to journalists after the game, Riveiro has spoken out against the verbal abuse of players and praised Mpontshane’s handling of the ordeal.

"I don’t think it’s a good idea to not support one of our players just when he’s about to go to the field and replace one of the players on the field. It doesn’t matter what is his name and what position he players," Riveiro said.

"I think we’re making an issue about something that’s residual. We’re talking about a small number of people [supporters that abuse players]. Overall, the people that are coming to our stadium don’t doubt our players.

"When we play away, the support we get is amazing. I’ve nerve seen anything like that in my life. So, thank you to our fans, the ones that are supporting from home as well.

"I don’t think we should make an issue about this, but at the same time bullying is terrible in every scenario. It’s something we should all take seriously.

"I’m so happy with Mpontshie [Siyabonga Mpontshane], his professionalism and the way he’s handling the situation. He’s a strong guy."

The win was Pirates' second consecutive league victory and takes The Sea Robbers back into the top five of the DStv Premiership. The Buccaneers will return to action with a clash against Marumo Gallants on Saturday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

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