Latest News Editor's Choice

Sports / Soccer

Tsipa says sorry

by Grace Chingoma
19 Jul 2016 at 06:17hrs | Views
A CONTRITE Leonard Tsipa says he is taking full responsibility for his actions and all the blame for CAPS United's defeat at Highlanders following his expulsion early in the second half of a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields on Sunday.

The veteran Green Machine striker was sent off in the 54th minute after he foolishly head-butted Bosso defender Peter Muduhwa in an off-the-ball-incident.

Just like last year Tsipa earned an unnecessary red card for a nasty tackle on then ZPC Kariba defender Denis Dauda and later apologised to both his club and the centre back for his actions.

But somehow he let another moment of madness revisit him in the Battle of the Cities clash against Bosso and referee Thabani Bamala gave the CAPS United striker his marching orders before Highlanders got their winner nine minutes later through Bruce Kangwa.

Tsipa yesterday said the incident could have been avoided had he controlled his temper.

Yesterday, Tsipa opened up on what transpired which earned him an early dismissal.

"From the first whistle, he (Muduhwa) knee-tackled me intentionally such that I finished the first half of the match in pain. During the game he was abusive to me uttering unprintable words about my parents which I cannot repeat.

"And for someone coming into this match with a lot going on in my life where things are not okay at home where my mother is bed-ridden and seriously ill, it affected me and provoked some temper inside me. I just travelled to Bulawayo for the love of the game, but my mother is very sick.

"I am not trying to justify myself, but I had told the referee several times during the match and even tried to communicate with the linesman to no avail about my opponent's behaviour.

"Off the ball, he was just kicking me and all. Maybe it was a strategy to get me sent-off I don't know," said Tsipa.

"I failed to control my temper and realised immediately that what I had done was wrong and I would like to assure everyone that it will never happen again.

"My expulsion affected the team big time. Even when I went to the dressing room I could see that my actions had put my teammates under a lot of pressure as there were now expected to work under pressure.

"The team ended up losing and after the match I said sorry to the team and the coaches. I would want to say sorry to the (CAPS United) supporters as well and everyone at the club.

"Since the match was live on television with everyone following it, they would have been disappointed with my actions," Tsipa said.

The veteran striker felt he should not be judged harshly on the basis that he is a senior player at CAPS United "as sometimes these things tend to happen in the heat of moment''.

"I am a senior player yes, but it is a game of football. I am not defending myself, but it wasn't my day," said Tsipa.

However, the long-serving CAPS United player is not new to this kind of behaviour as in 2004 at the same venue against the same team he was involved in a similar incident with former Highlanders defender Gilbert Banda.

Highlanders were leading 3-2 when CAPS United were awarded a penalty and Tsipa, before converting that spot-kick which saw Makepekepe equalising, appeared to have head-butted Banda who fell to the ground. The fans threw missiles into the pitch and the match was abandoned.

Tsipa insisted he was not a bad boy as he recounted another incident which happened 12 years ago.

"When we were in the Young Warriors team, Gilbert would be my roommate so in that league match, CAPS United versus Highlanders, he was teasing me, saying that 'today we are going to beat you' as they were leading 3-0.

"I had scored our second goal so when we got the penalty I hit back at him and told him that we are now going to equalise and before I took that penalty I mocked him in his face, but I didn't punch him or slap him in the face.

"After I equalised, fans started throwing missiles into the pitch and the game was stopped, but television replays showed clearly that I didn't punch him," said Tsipa.

However, the striker believes Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Bosso is a setback which they will be able to recover from when the league resumes after the two-week break.

"We dropped some points, but it doesn't mean much, we will keep on working hard and we would need to win our next matches.

"Considering we went into this game on top of the table, everyone was itching for a victory and the match was bound to be tension-filled.

"I am sorry that in the end the result did not favour us," said Tsipa.

Source - the herald