Bernard Parker used his man of the match acceptance interview on TV to ask Kaizer Chiefs supporters not to abuse the players. He followed it up with another passionate appeal on Twitter.
Parker’s comments were unsolicited after Chiefs had scrapped through the first round of the Telkom Knockout over Black Leopards at Soccer City on Sunday‚ and there were no obvious signs of any bullying of the players by the home fans.
But both Parker and fellow veteran Siphiwe Tshabalala were subjected to abuse earlier in the season when Chiefs made a poor start to the campaign.
While it might have been a factor in Tshabalala’s move to Turkey‚ the abuse has obviously gnawed away at Parker over the last months and he wasted no time using the platform of SuperSport TV to appeal to the fans to stop abusing players.
He repeated it on Chiefs’ official Twitter feed‚ saying to camera: "Thank you to everybody associated with his badge‚" while tugging at his shirt.
"Guys‚ please be with us every time we are on the field of play. We ask that you encourage us‚ that you support us‚ we want you to push us‚ to give us that extra effort to push so that we can win together," Parker said.
"We win together‚ we lose together and we draw together."
Parker’s appeal follows a discourse on Saturday after Orlando Pirates beat Chippa United. Both coaches bemoaned the poor finishing of strikers in SA but said the public must share some of the blame.
Chippa coach Eric Tinkler said jeering at players such as Thamsanqa Gabuza made them nervous to take shots and this led to poor decision-making in front of goal.