Orlando Pirates: How Absence of VAR Denied the Buccaneers Claiming All 3 Points Against Swallows

Orlando Pirates: How Absence of VAR Denied the Buccaneers Claiming All 3 Points Against Swallows

Byron Pillay
updated at April 4, 2024 at 6:58 AM
In this article:
Orlando Pirates logo
Orlando Pirates
South Africa
Moroka Swallows FC logo
Moroka Swallows FC
South Africa
  • Orlando Pirates remain in fourth place on the DStv Premiership table after their latest draw
  • The Buccaneers should have beaten Moroka Swallows but were denied in two key decisions
  • The absence of the Video Assistant Referee played a vital role in the Soweto derby stalemate

The absence of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in South African football has once again proved costly.

Orlando Pirates are the latest side to feel aggrieved by the lack of technology in the local game, as it denied them a victory in the DStv Premiership.

Orlando Pirates played out a 1-1 draw against Moroka Swallows in the DStv Premiership.
Orlando Pirates were denied two key decisions because of the absence of VAR in South African football. Image: @Soccer_Laduma.
Source: Twitter

With the Buccaneers drawing 1-1 with Moroka Swallows in the original Soweto Derby, Sports Brief looks at two key moments which went against the Sea Robbers and what should have happened.

Mbatha was wrongly adjudged to be offside

In the 57th minute of the game, Pirates thought they took the lead when Thalente Wandile Mbatha latched onto a Deon Hotto cross.

Mbatha finished smartly into the bottom corner, but his celebrations were cut short when the linesman raised his flag.

The goal was ruled off for offside, but replays showed that Mbatha was just on when the ball was played.

While the decision was too tight for the naked eye to call, the VAR would have allowed the goal to stand and Pirates would have been 2-1 up.

Mabasa fouled in the box

Less than 10 minutes later, Pirates should have had another chance to take the lead.

Tshegofatso Mabasa was brought down in the penalty box, but the referee waved away shouts from the Buccaneers' players.

The officials believed that Mabasa went down easy in the hopes of buying a spot kick.

Replays showed that Mabasa didn't dive as assumed by the ref but was indeed brought down by an opposition player.

The VAR would have spotted the offence and awarded the Sea Robbers a penalty, allowing them another chance to take home all three points.

A win would have seen Jose Riveiro's men claim third spot on the DStv Premiership table, but instead, they remain behind Sekhukhune United in fourth.

Riveiro unhappy with Pirates' players

Sports Brief also previously reported on how Pirates coach, Riveiro, questioned his players' attitude after their loss against Sekhukhune United.

The Spanish coach accused his players of not playing well throughout the match, saying their confidence was dented by the goal they conceded.

Sekhukhune ran out 2-1 winners in the DStv Premiership clash and leapfrogged the Buccaneers on the league table as a result of the big victory.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
DStv Premiership