We've got news for you.

Register on DispatchLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Komphela fields backlash after tweeting Ahly removing medals was ‘disgusting’

Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela. File photo
Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela. File photo
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela was left fielding a backlash from the treacherous Twittersphere after saying Al Ahly removing their silver medals after their Caf Champions League defeat against Wydad Athletic was “disgusting”.

Komphela retweeted a video, captioned “disgusting”, which showed one of the silver medals presented to the Egyptian giants after their 2-0 defeat to Wydad at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, Morocco on Monday night discarded on the stage.

Most of Ahly’s players and coach Pitso Mosimane immediately removed their silver medals after being presented them by Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe and Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

Many took the gesture to be a protest by Ahly at Caf’s decision to allow Wydad’s home ground as the venue of the Champions League final for a second year running. The decision was made at the semifinal stage when it was apparent the Moroccan giants would reach the final.

Ahly took Caf’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week but lost the case.

“This should be a fine. I’m starting another war. Bringing the game into disrepute. Ngifile futhi yiqiniso [I might be crucified],” Komphela wrote.

“This is wrong guys. What future societies are we breeding?”

Later Komphela wrote: “It’s so disgusting watching players given medals and disrespectfully pulling them off their necks. Lack of respect. Class? No matter how you feel, you must always maintain class, dignity and respect. So sad.”

As many users of the social media platform agreed with Komphela, others disagreed and the Sundowns coach had to skillfully negotiate a minefield of negative reaction.

As one user pointed out the gesture might well have been in protest at Wydad having home ground advantage in the final.

“I fully understand the disgruntlement and fully justified about the venue. That’s why it’s important to have guidelines and frameworks before anything happens to avoid controversy. I agree, however respect is not shown by disrespect,” Komphela responded.

Pointed out that this was not the first time teams and players removed their silver medals after losing in a final, Komphela responded: “With utmost respect, does it make it right because it’s not happening for the first time?

“I cannot imagine abuse offenders claiming victory because abuse is not happening for the first time. I beg to differ and hoping you’ll respect the indifference. It can’t be!”

Ex-Sundowns coach Mosimane was seeking a record third successive Champions League title in Monday night’s final.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.