Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has leapt to the defence of midfielder Fortune Makaringe after his showboating in the victory over Mamelodi Sundowns provoked the ire of Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
Makaringe put on a brief show for the fans with an unusual piece of skill in the second half of the match played last Wednesday evening at Orlando Stadium.
Mosimane was less than impressed with Makaringe's antics and believes it sends the wrong message to aspiring soccer stars. The Masandawana mentor even suggested in his post-match press conference that Bafana coach Ntseki, who was in the stands to watch the game, would not have been impressed.
Mosimane received a backlash after his comments, with many saying that showboating is a unique part of South African football and should be celebrated.
And now Ntseki has had his own say on the matter, saying that what Makaringe did was fine because he was in plenty of space and unpressured. The Bafana tactician also said that showboating is a part of South African culture and we should be cautious before we criticise it.
"I think we should all understand that South African players have got those skills and those qualities and when they feel like it, they will express themselves that way, even though maybe from a professional point of view, you will be saying that it is unprofessional and uncalled for, but at that moment he felt, ‘I’m not going to lose the ball and let me do this’," Ntseki told IOL.
"But in terms of professionalism and respect in the game and your opponents, we should always be cognisant of such moments of the game."
Ntseki took no issue with the way Makaringe showboated as it was just for a 'split-second' and something he did only once in the entire game.
"Yes, it was Fortune Makaringe but for me it was a split second moment and he didn’t continue disrespecting his opponents and disrespecting the game. But we always look at the game differently because if it is something that we can easily correct and say to Makaringe this has got a negative effect on your game, he is not going to do it again," Ntseki added.
Mosimane's comments have set social media ablaze with a debate currently ensuing between those in favour of showboating and those against, while former legends of South African football such as 'Professor' Ngubane and Lennox Bacela have strongly criticised Mosimane for what they deem as censorship of freedom of expression.
"What Pitso said didn’t and still doesn’t sit well with me. All that the boy from Pirates was doing was expressing himself, because of the confidence he had and self-belief. Pitso criticised him and invited the attention for the boy to imply that what he did was wrong," said Ngubane.
- TeamTalk Media