AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy criticised the officiating in defeat to Orlando Pirates on Thursday evening.
The sides cancelled each other to go to the break goalless but Pirates snatched the winner in the last 14 minutes thanks to a stunning free-kick by Gabadinho Mhango.
McCarthy has questioned the officiating in the game and the PSL for not appointing an experienced referee for such a big match.
“We got beaten by the referee not by Orlando Pirates, listen if I’m under pressure about my job you do anything, when your job is hanging by a thread,” McCarthy told SuperSport TV.
“So losing is part of football, I’m not bitter, I can take losing but when you lose in that manner, not against your opponent but the man in the middle, what is this, a joke?
“It’s the first time I’ve seen this referee, how can the league even consider [him for] a game of this magnitude the team that wants to finish second is behind you.
“No foothold in the game, not because we didn’t get the three points, three points is gone, they take the game, they take the three points and it will add to their points [tally] but in this fashion?” he went on.
“Come on, we expect the DStv Premiership to raise the standard, we’re [up] there, teams are upping up their games but the officiating is diabolical and you can’t say ‘ah coaches always compain’.
“Today was just a joke and I wasn’t going to do that because ja I know you gonna get warnings, you gonna get fines that’s fine, today I don’t care because my team team, now what do I have to say to my players?
“Because they didn’t lose the game against the opponent, they lost to people that decide…you know you keep a clean game and you make sure you get the football that you deserve.
“That’s why these teams are number two and they are number four because you want to see good football but then the man in the middle spoils the game for everyone, come on and now I must say ‘ok guys we go again’,” the irate McCarthy continued.
“We know what we have to do, we have two games more left, they are still four points behind us and that’s not the fact of the matter. Today we missed an opportunity because we played a team that was under pressure.
“And if it wasn’t for the help of the man in the middle it would have been completely a different game and that’s my view and my view ain’t gonna change.
When asked if his side were good enough to get a point, he added, “Listen I don’t think we were as good as we could be, we usually are but I also don’t think they were as good you know but it was made easier by the man in the middle.
“I know the referee didn’t score goals for them but the decisions that were going their way, the free-kick that led into a goal, it’s just ag… [sighs], there’s no point in complaining now, it’s over 90 minutes, nothing is going to get reversed, we just have to pick ourselves up and we have to go.
“But I know my team has the character and it’s all in our hands, we don’t depend on anyone else but ourselves. Today was not our best display but to lose in the fashion that we did was a bit disappointing for me. I’d like to lose against a better team and that’s it for me,” he added.