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Sebola slams Orlando Pirates' Ncikazi over Malawi star Mhango's Afcon claim

9:54 pm AEDT 8/2/22
Frank Mhango, Malawi, January 2022
Gabandinho was omitted from Bucs' matchday squad after he impressed in Cameroon and Local is Lekker feels he would have scored against Usuthu

Orlando Pirates legend Andries Sebola has slammed the club's co-head coach Mandla Ncikazi for his recent comments on Frank 'Gabadinho' Mhango.

Ncikazi recently made a bizarre suggestion that the PSL is a more important competition than the Africa Cup of Nations which is the biggest football tournament on the continent. 

The 52-year-old tactician was explaining why he left Mhango out of the Buccaneers squad for the Nedbank Cup last 32 win over AmaZulu FC on Sunday afternoon.

“Mhango is supposed to play because he’s on fire. You can’t say a scoring striker must wait for his turn,’’ Sebola told Sowetan

"As I am speaking to you, I am watching the highlights of that game [Pirates versus AmaZulu] and I can tell you Mhango would have scored if he was selected. Mhango is Pirates’ best striker at the moment, so he must start games."

Sebola, who played for the Buccaneers in the '90s as a striker, feels that Ncikazi is losing the plot and he suggested that the Hlokozi-born mentor should leave the Soweto giants. 

"Mandla is losing the plot.  When he says the PSL is bigger than Afcon, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about," the former AmaZulu star continued. 

"When he’s bored with coaching Pirates, he must pack his bags and go back to Arrows [where he coached last season].’’

Mhango was one of the standout performers in the early stages of the recent 2021 Afcon finals in Cameroon - scoring three goals in three matches to help Malawi reach the knockout phase for the first time.

“How can the best players in the world in Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah play Afcon if it’s not a big tournament? The PSL is smaller than Afcon,’’ Sebola, who was nicknamed Local is Lekker during his playing days, added.

“Riyad Mahrez won’t come from Manchester City to play for Algeria if Afcon was a small competition. I don’t know what’s wrong with Ncikazi these days. Mandla has never been out of the country to represent SA, that’s why he talks like this about Afcon.’’ 

Mhango has made five appearances across all competitions for Pirates this season without scoring having struggled with injuries prior to the 2021 Afcon tournament.