Lepasa sets record straight on Xoki, Domingo incidentNovember 16, 2022
Orlando Pirates striker Zakhele Lepasa has denied that he encouraged teammate Tapelo Xoki for a dangerous tackle on Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Haashim Domingo during Saturday’s Carling Black Label Cup final.
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Xoki as sent off for the offence and the incident sparked furious reaction from Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena and a spat between him and Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus.
Mokwena later revealed on a radio interview on Monday that his anger was directed at Lepasa for “clapping at” and encouraging Xoki’s tackle.
Lepasa has now dismissed this claim, saying he was only consoling his teammate Xoki for getting a red card knowing how important the game was to the defender.
“I would like to put it on record that I did not encourage my teammate Tapelo Xoki for kicking an opponent. It is factually incorrect to suggest that I, or any of my other teammates at that, would do that,” wrote Lepasa on his social media platforms.
“I stood to console my teammates because I knew how important this game was to him. I understand that football is an emotional game and at the time everyone’s emotions were high. But I know for a fact that his act was not intentional.”
The Sea Robbers goal-poacher went on to wish Domingo a speedy recovery on his injury.
“I would like to wish Domingo a speedy recovery and all the best for the future,” he added.
Pirates lost the Carling Black Label Cup to Sundowns 4-0, with Sundowns youngster Cassius Mailula scoring a brace and a goal each by Sphelele Mkhulise and Grant Kekana ensuring the Pretoria outfit go on to lift the Carling Cup on the day.