Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi gives bizarre reason why PSL standards trumps Afcon’s!

Orlando Pirates Co-Coach Mandla Ncikazi reiterated his comments on the standard of the DStv Premiership compared to the Africa Cup of Nations.


Ncikazi had previously spoken about this supposed disparity, while trying to explain why he did not select Gabadinho Mhango for Pirates’ fixture against Amazulu.

Mhango returned to Pirates in great form

Mhango, who returned to Pirates fresh from his impressive exploits in the Africa Cup of Nations for Malawi, could only find a spot on the bench. Furthermore, as the team’s supporters were desperate to see the player back in action with a black and white jersey, they were not afforded that opportunity by Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids. The forward ended up being an unused substitute for Pirates, but that did not affect the team, as they went on to beat Amazulu to advance to the Nedbank Cup last 16. 


Now as Pirates began their preparations for their CAF Confederations Cup campaign, Ncikazi told members of the media that he meant what he said when he uttered those sentiments. 

Ncikazi on the Afcon-DStv Premiership debate

“Let me put clarity on the whole issue which made a lot of empty noise without being informed (and) maybe lessons from me. We must listen with our ears and don’t assume and use the facts in front of me. Gabadinho Mhango, the question was why was he not part of the team and in my explanation I used the Afcon. And if I were to say it again, when you look at the teams, a goalkeeper from Ivory Coast (Badra Ali Sangaré), number one, is playing for JDR (Stars). A goalkeeper from Gabon (Jean-Noël Amonome), their number one is number three at AmaZulu and is not making number one at AmaZulu. A captain from Malawi (Limbikani Mzava), with respect, he can’t make the 20 at AmaZulu. The striker of Malawi, (Khuda) Muyaba, is playing for Polokwane City. (Aboubacar Bemba) Sangare is making the side (for Mali) if I’m not mistaken, but he’s not a regular at Chippa just to give you a few examples,” Ncikazi told journalists at the Pirates conference.

The exceptions to the argument

Ncikazi would continue to make his point by saying: 

“Relating to the question that was asked, why is Mhango doing well in Malawi and not at Pirates and I said maybe the competition in PSL teams is higher than in some teams in the Afcon, maybe excluding the four teams that came first, second, third and fourth. If you look at those teams, for Senegal the captain is (Sadio) Mané and he’s a regular at Liverpool. At number two was Egypt and (Mohamed) Salah the captain is a regular at Liverpool. At number three (was Cameroon, and Vincent) Aboubakar the captain, maybe now he has moved to the Middle East, but a regular in his team. Number four (was Burkina Faso, and Bertrand) Traore of Aston Villa and is the captain. When you look at what I said before and look at what I say now, the gap is too big. If a player is playing in a national team of some teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he should be a regular and people sometimes don’t listen to what is said but they look at who is saying it and sometimes we think with our hearts than our minds. The facts are in front, but people are just refusing to look at the facts and I’m not going to change from what I said because it’s what I think and the facts are backing me up,” Ncikazi concluded

Mhango again did not feature for Pirates in their 2-0 victory over JS Saoura of Algeria on Sunday.

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