Akan Drama As Pirates Drop Crucial Points

Orlando Pirates’ coach Ali Akan had to be restrained from attacking referee Ananias Kangandi after his side wasted a crucial chance to close the gap on Namibia Premier League log leaders Black Africa when they threw away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 against Blue Waters on Sunday.

Akan, who accused the referee of incompetence and corruption, was furious about numerous decisions that had gone against Pirates throughout the game and stormed onto the field in the final stages of the match.

Akan was especially angry about Kangandi’s decision not to award a penalty for a handball to Pirates with ten minutes remaining and had to be restrained by his players and security personnel from attacking the referee.

Edom Dominic gave Blue Waters an early lead, but Pirates came back to go 3-1 ahead at halftime after goals by Terdius Uiseb, Gustav Isaak and Nicky Musambani.

Blue Waters however staged a fine comeback as Hendrik Somaeb scored from the penalty spot after a handball, while a long-range shot by Tobias Mekondjo drew them level.

The result leaves Pirates four points behind Black Africa, who have a game in hand. In fact, with only two rounds remaining in this season’s league race, BA can already secure a record fourth consecutive title if they beat old foes African Stars in their next league match on Friday evening.

League administrator Tovey Hoebeb said he was still awaiting the referee’s report on Pirates’ match against Blue Waters and could not make a comment about the incident at this stage.

“We are still waiting for the referee’s report, so I cannot comment on that now,” he said.

Hoebeb also did not want to comment on the general standard of refereeing in the Premier League,

“I don’t want to say anything at this stage, with our case against African Stars coming up tomorrow, that could be used against me,” he said, referring to Stars’ high court order against the outcome of their abandoned match against Pirates on 16 April.

In Rundu, there was also dissatisfaction with the referee, as the match between United Stars and Civics ended in a goalless draw. Civics’ coach Christi Guruseb was unhappy that the referee had disallowed a goal and a penalty for Civics.

“I was not happy with the referee at all. He disallowed a goal by Seun Uahipirapi, while we were supposed to have a penalty when Llewellyn Stanley was fouled in the box. I told the referee at halftime it seemed that he had already decided who should win the match, but he was better in the second half,” he said.

Guruseb said that refereeing in Namibia was not good and supported Akan, although he did not condone his behaviour.

“I saw that coming, and it was not the first time that this referee has been in the news. (Tura Magic coach) Timo (Tjongarero) called him the man of the match after their defeat against Ramblers last week, while he also booked Wangu Gomes for diving when we played Black Africa,” he said.

Guruseb said he understood Akan’s frustrations, but did not condone his action.

“In football, we should always adhere to fair play, and it was not right of him to go onto the field,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eleven Arrows climbed off the foot of the table after a 1-0 victory against Rundu Chiefs in Walvis Bay on Saturday. Olavi Shiningayamwe scored the winning goal for Arrows who now move up to second last on the log on 13 points, while Rundu Chiefs go bottom on 12 points.

Source : The Namibian