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“We Would Have Been Called Cry Babies” | SAFA

7 May 2013 The Touchline Expert

Official statement from SAFA regarding the treatment faced by Orlando Pirates and the SABC in Lumbumbashi, DRC.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) intends to express its strong dissatisfaction to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the treatment meted out to Orlando Pirates FC in their CAF Champions League second leg clash against TP Mazembe FC of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Lubumbashi on Sunday, 5 May 2013.

Pirates lost the match 1-0 but advanced to the round robin stage with an aggregate score of 3-2 after winning the first leg 3-1 in Johannesburg two weeks ago.

“It was a terrifying experience. Our lives were at risk,” said SAFA’s Head of Delegation, Mr Elvis Shishana, who is also a member of the SAFA National Executive Committee (NEC).

An SABC crew that had traveled to broadcast the match live was prevented from doing so, with the organisers claiming there was no permission to televise the match.

“It was very clear from the beginning that they had an agenda, hence they did not want anyone to record the match. It is difficult to explain why millions of fans were denied a chance to watch this match.

“The officiating was terrible and had we lost, we would have been called cry babies, but now that we are through to the next round, we must complain to CAF,” said a disappointed Shishana.

Shishana said despite the harrowing experience, Pirates players had done the country proud.

“The boys played as though their lives depended on the outcome. They showed real guts out there, I am proud of them for hanging on under such difficult circumstances. We are also glad we are back home in one piece but I must repeat that it was a scary situation and our lives were really in danger,” said Shishana whose mobile phone was grabbed from him by one of the fans. The security officers at the stadium failed to assist and his phone was only returned after he had threatened to report the matter to CAF.