A football player in the amateur ranks has been banned for five (5) years from playing football or engaging in any football activities after he was found guilty of misconduct by the Mkhondo Local Football Association at a disciplinary hearing on Monday 08 October 2018. The Mkhondo United FC player Palacio Vilakazi assaulted a match official after he was sent off during a Thandolokukhanya Promotion League match against PR Barcelona FC at Milner Park ground on Sunday 07 October 2018.
A shot by a PR Barcelona FC striker was blocked by a goalkeeper’s hand but the referee had wrongly awarded a penalty against Mkhondo United FC thinking the ball had hit a defender’s hand. The Mkhondo United FC players protested the decision leading to a change of decision by the match referee but Siyabonga Vilakazi (26) did not stop harassing the referee. He continued to shout at the match referee and threatening him which led to a red card. The player then attacked the referee by kicking him in the face while the match official was recording the red card. The match was immediately called off by the match referee with the score 1-1 in the first half. The player was quickly summoned to appear at the Mkhondo LFA disciplinary committee together with his club on Monday 08 October 2017.
“In the future he will hit myself as well, he must go rest at home.”
According to the Mkhondo LFA secretary Mr Ntokozo Simelane both the club and player did not honour the hearing. “The club owner Mr Hector “Ringo” Nxumalo sent an apology on behalf of his club saying he was unavailable due to work commitments. He asked the DC to continue with the player’s case and asked for postponement of the club’s case. Ringo said the LFA should suspend the player as he was also ill-discipline in his club and did not know what to do with him. The club is charged with failing to control its playing stuff who violently attacked the match referee. They will also get their time in front of the DC,” he said.
“We want to send a clear and strong message to everyone who think of hitting our officials. This player did not only hit a match referee but he also attacked an elected official because Lindani is the deputy secretary of the LFA.”
The 26 year old player was found guilty and sentenced in absentia after he ran away from the DC venue on Monday. He was earlier seen by the DC chairperson at Masenkeni Stadium before disappearing without trace. The Mkhondo LFA DC chairperson said they want to send a message to other players and clubs that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in the future. “We want to send a clear and strong message to everyone who think of hitting our officials. This player did not only hit a match referee but he also attacked an elected official because Lindani is the deputy secretary of the LFA. In the future he will hit myself as well, he must go rest at home,” said Mr Mduduzi ‘Johnny’ Nkosi. He said the player has an option to appeal his sentence as per the rules and constitution of the association. The decision to ban the player is not for the first time under the Mkhondo LFA. In the 2015/16 season the association banned Brazil FC and a player for assaulting a match referee in a league match played under Sinethemba Promotion league in Saul Mkhizeville. They were given a four year sentence and only expected to come back next season. This looks like the association is sending a warning to all perpetrators of violence in the field of play that they will not be shown mercy by the Disciplinary Committee.