Eddie Chikamhi

Senior Sports Reporter 

AFTER seeing his players getting on the receiving end of some nasty tackles in the opening few matches of the 2024 season, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has called on referees to protect players.

The platinum miners believe rivals could be taking it too far, at the risk of injuring his players, in trying to counter their free-flowing brand of passing football.    

 “I told the boys that if you are going to be casual you are going to get hurt. You need to be strong on the ball. 

“Some of those tackles just went unnoticed, but I’m not saying that the referee was not good.

“I think the referee (Ronald Chinyani) did very well; he managed to control some situations but last week again against Chicken Inn it was the same situation. 

“I think it’s because everybody thinks that we want to pass the ball around so let’s go and hammer the boys. 

“But, someone will end up getting hurt and that’s not what we want to see in our football.” 

He added:

“I think the only problem we have in the country is that referees don’t protect players who are being hammered from behind. 

“You can never get away with these tackles in Europe; those are red cards especially the first one when Tino (Benza) went on Wallace Magalane.” 

The platinum miners host CAPS United in their next match at Mandava on Saturday. 

They currently sit on top of the PSL log table, unbeaten, with 10 points from four starts. 

 “Slowly we are getting there,” said Mapeza. 

“When we started it wasn’t like we were up there. The second game it was the same, we went to Ngezi Platinum and managed to grind a result. 

“But, what I am more than happy with is the organisation we have. That is what is important. At least we are showing something at the end of the day in terms of defending. 

“Then in midfield we still need to have more of creativity. It’s not yet there but as time goes, it will come.

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