Watch: Controversy mars ABC play-offs

Johannesburg - The recent ABC Motsepe League national play-offs in East London have become mired in controversy.

The South African Football Association (Safa) has indicated that it will charge two clubs – Buya Msuthu of North West and Limpopo’s Dolphins – for serious misconduct, which the association deems as unprofessional and a violation of its competition rules and regulations.

Safa has alleged that Buya Msuthu players and officials behaved in an unsporting manner.

“The players went on the field with no intention to compete and to violate the Fifa Fair Play Code. Their actions have brought the game, Safa and its sponsors into disrepute,” read a Safa statement.

City Press is in possession of a clip of the match in which Buya Msuthu players were just dribbling, doing shibobos and showing off their skills as they entertained the fans in their own half, despite being 3-1 down to eventual winners Super Eagles of Free State.

The Eagles went into their last game needing to win by a two-goal margin to book a place in the National First Division.

Stopped playing

Buya Msuthu’s players’ body language was clearly of a team playing just for the sake of honouring the fixture.

But a Buya Msuthu official has denied any wrongdoing. He told City Press that they were despondent after their game against Acornbush. He alleged that the Mpumalanga side scored their goal after the ball went out and were surprised the goal stood.

“Our boys were very angry because the ball had gone out of the field and they stopped playing, thinking the referee would blow the whistle. You can imagine how it must feel to lose like that in the final minute of the match as the game never resumed after the goal,” said the official, who did not want to be identified.

He said the players did not want to play the final game against the Eagles.

“We had to force them to go and honour the game as they just wanted to go home and had nothing to play for. I am not surprised they did not perform to their best.”

The Dolphins were accused of misconduct for fraudulently replacing Under-23 players with overage players before the start of their matches and ignoring the regulations, which say that “clubs must start all the games with a minimum of five under-23 players”.

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