Kaizer Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela scorned his players’ showboating following the team’s 3-0 win over Stellenbosch FC in the Nedbank Cup last weekend.
The 48-year-old mentor felt his team lost possession cheaply toward the end of that game, and strongly believes his players must showcase their skill in a manner that is productive.
“You don’t want to lose the ball cheaply, you want to respect the game and play in a positive manner. At some stage I found some areas where we let loose,” Komphela said.
“One thing you must know, football is culture and tradition – it defines you as society, and this [showboating] is what South Africans enjoy in football,” said the Amakhosi coach.
“You don’t want to be mediocre but you still want to give them the skill and flair that they want, and you [must] do it in a manner that is productive,” he reiterated.
Komphela said the country should learn to appreciate and applaud local players the same way they do when the likes of Neymar Jr. and others play around with the ball in other parts of the world.
However, he maintained that coaches have the responsibility to reprimand their players if they feel the team is not benefiting from showboating, something he was quick to point out after the game in Cape Town.
“When Neymar is in the corner, gets the ball and flips it, the world says ‘what a skill, what a great player’. When we do it in South Africa in a manner that is productive the same must go and if not, we as coaches have to reprimand the player,” he concluded.
The issue of showboating cause a stir in and out of the country last year, and several high profile figures, including coaches and former players, had different opinions on the topic.
In October last year, Baroka FC midfielder Sipho Moeti was shown a yellow card for showboating, while Sifiso Myeni and Thabo Rakhale were hugely criticized for showcasing their skill and flair against CS Sfaxien in August 2015.
Former PSL referee Jerome Damon also weighed in on the issue of showboating soon after that Caf Confederation Cup match in 2015, saying the rules were totally against showboating in a manner which is disrespectful to opposition.
“Showboating. Does it have a place in the football? The short answer is no! Any action that seeks to humiliate or bring the game of football into disrepute is unsporting behaviour and therefore a cautionable offence. (See Fifa Laws of the Game),” Damon wrote on his official Facebook account at the time.
“Recently in a Caf Confederation Cup match, many South African supporters were up in arms when a visiting Tunisian team took exception to an Orlando Pirates player showboating.”
“But what is allowed? It is entertaining and showing skill when that skill (or entertainment) is done to pass a player or ‘skill’ a player in making an attacking/defensive pass. By all means juggle the ball and flip it over the advancing opponent’s head. No referee will penalise that, however, when you stand on one place and start tapping the ball all to yourself and start ‘showboating’ (I call it showing off), all you are doing is bring attention to yourself and not using it as an attacking or defensive play.”
“When you stand and twirl on the ball without advancing it past an attacker or defender (in other words the move is not used to evade an opponent), then it is showboating and that action is unsporting in terms of law,” he said.
“So, can you stand and twirl on the ball? Yes, but as long as it is used to immediately evade an advancing opponent, all other instances it is unsporting behaviour. Now, we can debate as much as we want to, but unless the law is amended, that is how it is applied,” concluded Damon.
While the majority of South African football fans enjoy watching their favourite players showcasing their skill without being restricted, more PSL coaches appear to dislike the idea even more in recent times.