The SA Football Association (Safa) has condemned Black Leopards chairman David Thidiela’s alleged verbal attack on referee Victor Hlungwani and has undertaken to take disciplinary steps against him.
The National Soccer League (NSL)‚ which administers the Premier Soccer League, has also undertaken to take disciplinary steps against Thidiela once he has had a chance to respond to the accusations against him at an executive committee (exco) and board of governors meeting on Thursday.
Safa‚ which administers refereeing in SA‚ said on Tuesday it was "disappointed" by Thidiela’s "flagrant abuse of the match official‚ an attack peppered by open tribal undertones".
An audio clip of Thidiela’s alleged abuse of Hlungwani following Leopards’ 1-0 Premiership defeat against Bloemfontein Celtic at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday has done the rounds on social media.
On the audio clip Thidiela is heard threatening Hlungwani and making tribal references. Safa condemned "in the strongest terms the verbal attack" on Hlungwani. Thidiela’s alleged rant came at the final whistle of his team’s defeat.
In the audio the Leopards chairman‚ a member of the PSL exco‚ is heard saying: "I allow a mistake to happen at the ground. A mistake can happen to anybody. But this – this is not a mistake. It’s following me.
"I’m giving you the last warning. You come here at your own risk," he is heard saying.
"I’m saying this before [in front of] the media.
"… Hlungwani‚ please we can do without you.
"I’m asking you‚ please‚ my brother‚ don’t come. Wherever we [Leopards] are playing‚ don’t go. Go and do the other games.
"I’m going to write a letter to the league.
"It will also go to Safa. I’m going to also tell [Safa president] Danny Jordaan."
Thidiela could also be heard shouting: "He’s a Shangaan‚ Shangaans do this."