PRETORIA — Pitso Mosimane became the latest senior footballing figure to take umbrage with demanding supporters, visibly angry on Sunday at his own Mamelodi Sundowns fans demanding the substitution of captain Teko Modise.
Report by Sportlive
Mosimane told supporters to quieten down when they started rolling their wrists, in a long-standing signal fans make from the terraces when they are unhappy with a poorly performing player and want the coach to take him off.
The Sundowns coach then turned and gestured furiously at them, also raising his finger to his lips just minutes after Modise scored their opening goal in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final against Platinum Stars at Loftus on Sunday.
Modise cupped his ear towards the Sundowns’ supporters in a similar signal of defiance as the strain between major teams and demanding followers began to turn into public spats.
Mosimane was cautious afterwards, however, not to add fuel to the fire when invited to comment on the incident and the confidence-sapping gestures that fans direct at players.
“Look, supporters have every right to say how they feel,” Mosimane said. “When things don’t go well they react. That’s how it is in football. It’s just a different culture in South Africa. I’m not here to change that.
“Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong. I think I got it right with Teko. It’s unfortunate that it’s a culture and it happens to others as well.
When you coach one of the big teams you are bound to have a lot of that. I never had that at Supersport.”
The former Bafana coach said fans should take a leaf out of the book of those who follow Bloemfontein Celtic.
“Celtic is the one club where the supporters get it right,” the coach said. “They just keep on singing and leave the players and bench alone. Maybe we should follow that example.”
Just last month Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi became the first Premier Soccer League player to gesture back at supporters seeking his substitution in a visible show of frustration when the club beat Polokwane City in the second round of the Nedbank Cup at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.