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Mokwena vs Erasmus: Orlando Pirates' Lepasa denies encouraging Xoki challenge on Mamelodi Sundowns' Domingo

10:58 EAT 16/11/2022
Zakhele Lepasa, Orlando Pirates, September 2022
Orlando Pirates striker Zakhele Lepasa has broken his silence regarding his teammate Tapelo Xoki's dismissal against Mamelodo Sundowns.
  • Mokwena said Lepasa's clapping caused his reaction
  • Pirates player wished Domingo a speedy recovery
  • Lepasa in Bafana squad for Angola and Mozambique friendlies

WHAT HAPPENED? The Bafana Bafana international denied that he encouraged Xoki for a challenge on Sundowns midfielder Haashim Domingo that saw the Pirates defender being red-carded in Saturday’s Carling Black Label Cup final.
The incident sparked a clash between Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena and Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus on the touchline as the duo exchanged harsh words at the iconic FNB Stadium.
When speaking on Marawa Sports Worldwide on Monday night, Mokwena explained that his anger over the challenge was not directed at Xoki, but at Lepasa, who the 35-year-old tactician said was “clapping at” and encouraging the tackle.
Lepasa released a statement via his official Twitter page on Tuesday night as he made it clear that he was not encouraging his teammate.

WHAT DID LEPASA SAY:

THE BIGGER PICTURE:

Mokwena has stated that Lepasa apologized to him after the match and that he communicated with Erasmus on Sunday and the duo has since buried the hatchet.

Xoki will be available for selection when PSL action resumes after the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar as his red card doesn't apply in competitive competitions due to the fact that Carling Black Label Cup is an unofficial tournament.

While Mokwena has explained that Domingo had a swollen ankle and an early assessment is that he did not damage any ligaments when speaking to SABC Sports over the weekend.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR LEPASA? The Soweto-born marksman is currently part of the Bafana camp at Ingwenyama Conference and Sport Resort in Mpumalanga.
South Africa are set to take on Mozambique on Thursday at Mbombela Stadium, before facing Angola on Sunday at the same venue.