South African soccer supporters witnessed a first in world football when Thamsanqa Gabuza stormed to the touchline and angrily threw his shirt in the direction of the Pirates supporters, before sarcastically showing them the gesture used to call for a substitution, and then made his way off the park and down the tunnel.
The incident took place during Orlando Pirates’ Premier Soccer league encounter against Black Leopards at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday night.
Gabuza was targeted by the boo boys after missing a couple of goal scoring opportunities in the earlier stages of the game.
The heated moment came in the 37th minute when Gabuza’s cross was deflected by Thivhavhudzi Ndou of Leopards into his own net. Instead of celebrating the goal Gabuza, used that opportunity to take out his frustration to the supporters, who continued to boo him despite the goal.
It was later reported from the Bucs dressing room that the striker had injured himself, although it appeared at the time as if Gabuza was trying to make a point to those fans who have never been shy to show their displeasure when he has failed to take chances in front of goal.
Indeed, with no substitution made – which would surely have been the case if Gabuza was injured, Pirates played out the last nine minutes of the first half with 10 men.
The plot then thickened five minutes into the second half when Gabuza reappeared on the side of the pitch – limping and with ice on the knee and supported by a technical team member, and made his way to sit down on the bench.
Referee Thando Ndzandzeka then ran across to the player, flashed what was a second yellow card – for leaving the field without permission (the first booking was for discarding his shirt) , and a red, before Gabuza once more hobbled back to the dressing room.
He later apologised for his behaviour.
Gabuza’s actions was met with mixed reaction on Twitter, with others calling for Pirates to terminate his contract:
— Ntate Pakkies (@Pakkies_NW) August 29, 2018
— Tima_Z (@FatimaZahra_S) August 28, 2018
— Aubrey’Aubz (@AubreyChiibi) August 28, 2018
— Marcus (@athule_luthando) August 28, 2018
Gabuza Nyabuza!!!! This is the idiot that made Gabuza leave the game. I don’t know if he wanted to be famous or what, Orlando Pirates doesn’t need such fan nxx…Dankie #Gabuza #AbsaPrem pic.twitter.com/1n12wiJ9uc
— Sbu (@VanDerZakhe) August 28, 2018
— Siphesonke Gophe (@Sincoko_Essay) August 28, 2018
— katlego Tjovitjo🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 (@KatlegoMog) August 28, 2018
— Big Guy Mresbo (@RespectBaloyi1) August 28, 2018
— ΞΞ (@_SfisoDludlu_) August 28, 2018