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Orlando Pirates FC head coach Jose Riveiro has revealed that he didn’t nominate both Mamelodi Sundowns players Ronwen Williams and Teboho Mokoena for the PSL Awards. Mokoena was voted the PSL Footballer of the Year by Premiership coaches.

The awards ceremony during the virtual awards held on Sunday. The decision has since divided football lovers with some suggesting that Pirates forward Monnapule Saleng is the deserving winner.

TEBOHO MOKOENA WIN BIG AT PSL AWARDS

Saleng won two awards, MTN8 Last Man Standing and Players Player of the Season. On the other side, Mokoena also won Midfielder of the Season. He was nominated alongside Themba Zwane and  Saleng for Midfielder of the Season. As for Footballer of the Season, Mokoena was nominated along with Ronwen Williams and Saleng.

PSL Awards controversy as Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro snub Mamelodi Sundowns player Teboho Mokoena
Jose Riveiro

In 22 league games, Monnapule Saleng scored 11 goals and assisted 8 goals for Orlando Pirates. Teboho Mokoena scored one goal and assisted one goal in 24 league games. Saleng was directly involved in 19 goals more than any player in the DStv Premiership while Mokoena was directly involved in two goals.

Also read: Unstoppable Mamelodi Sundowns beat Sekhukhune 

Saleng also won the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 Cup with Orlando Pirates FC during the 2022/23 season. Mokoena only won the DStv Premiership with the Brazilians.

Riveiro believes that Saleng is the one who deserves the Footballer of the Season award and he also said he does not want to say he voted for who.

WHAT ORLANDO PITRATES COACH JOSE RIVEIRO SAYS

“I can’t disclose who I voted for as Footballer of the Season. But I didn’t nominate any of the players from Sundowns that were there. I would have voted for Saleng cos he’s been brilliant for us, but you can’t vote for your own players,” Riveiro said on Radio 2000 on Monday evening.

Both Teboho Mokoena and Monnapule Saleng are included in the 34-man preliminary Bafana Bafana squad to face Morocco next month at FNB Stadium for AFCON qualifiers. In the first leg, Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 at Morocco.

South Africa and the Atlas Lions have already qualified for the 2024 AFCON that will be held in Ivory Coast from 13 January to 11 February 2024. This will be the second time Ivory Coast hosting the AFCON. Ivory Coast first hosted this tournament in 1984 where Cameroon defeated Nigeria to be the champions of this competition.

By Banele Hlakanyana

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