Rhulani Mokwena: Ernst Middendorp encouraged thuggish behaviour in Soweto Derby


Orlando Pirates head coach Rhulani Mokwena has accused Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp of encouraging "thuggish behaviour" during the Soweto Derby on Saturday.

After a great football spectacle that produced five goals at FNB Stadium, there was a big scuffle in the latter stages of the second half.

As a result, Erick Mathoho was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Abel Mabaso, and Mokwena let his feelings known about Middendorp and his players.

READ: Chiefs edge Bucs in five-goal thriller

"It's a good game of football, it had everything, both teams going at each other, we didn't start very well when we made a mistake and conceded an own goal but we were strong to come back and we showed a little bit of strong character after that but another lapse of concentration and then a set-piece goal," Mokwena told SuperSport TV after the game, before going at a rant aimed at Middendorp.

"We dug deep, scored one just before half-time but before that we hit the crossbar and the upright, we created so many chances, you can only be proud of these Orlando Pirates players," he continued.

"But having said that, I'm extremely disappointed as a football lover that such a great spectacle is ruined by such thuggish behaviour! It's okay to lose, OK let's lose but don't punch my players! I've got players that were kicked, punched in the face, I mean what do you say about these things. It's thuggish behaviour!

"I mean how do we have such coaches that condone such behaviour and carry [out] such behaviour!? I mean we can't have such things! Everybody is watching this, this is broadcast world wide, it's two of the biggest teams in the country and they play very good football and then we have coaches that encourages players to punch, foul and kick and be thugs on the pitch, it can't be!

"We're proud of them, we never give up, we fight and the Buccaneers I'm sure are proud of their players because their players fight, but we try to make things difficult, we've gotta learn...I've said to them at half-time when we were 2-0 down [2-1] that, "game on! Now we will see the real Pirates". And true to what I said, they gave us a spectacle. But we have to learn from these things and not wait to come back into games, we''ve got to take the lead and initiate the play a little bit more.

"But like I said, for me they [Chiefs] are good enough to win the match with tactics and the players that they have, they don't have to resort to thuggish tactics and thuggish behaviour. It can't be! We can't condone that, sorry. Congratulations, I think the referees were strong, they made the right decisions and the red-card was well deserved but we can't done that, as coaches, as leaders we can't promote and condone people to do such behaviour," he went on.

"I mean we have an opposition coach that encourages the players do to such things, it can't be! I've been raised properly as a person, I've been taught to respect my elders, so I leave Middendorp, I think he's old enough to understand that, that sort of behaviour can't be condoned. It spoils the image, I mean it really brings the PSL, football into disrepute. The whole time he's encouraging his players to do some of these things. It can't happen. It's not right," he said.