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Dumitru Leaps To Zwane's Defence 06/10/03
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru has jumped to the defence of defender Arthur Zwane whose clear hand-ball inside the area went unpunished during Saturdays controversial Coca-Cola Cup clash between Santos and the Amakhosi.

Chiefs won the first round tie 1-0 courtesy a 100th minute golden goal after left-back David Kannemeyer rifled home a 25-metre free-kick.

However this came after Chiefs keeper Rowen Fernandez failed to deal with a Santos corner. The ball fell to Kenyan international defender Musa Otieno who sent a strong header goalwards. Zwane, standing on the goal line, leapt to punch the ball to safety, something confirmed by television replays.

Understandably all the post-match attention focused on Zwanes goalkeeping heroics and the fact that it went unpunished by referee Enoch Radebe.

"The handball wasn't intentional," exclaimed Dumitru. "Zwane was protecting his face from the ball."
The Romanian-born coach then took it upon himself to lash out at the media for what he perceives as skewed reporting against the Soweto glamour club.

"I'm particularly angry at the media bias against us, bellowed an angry Dumitru.

We had a clear penalty in the first half when (Sibusiso) Dlamini was fouled in the box. You can go and view television replays and they'll clearly show that we had a case."

Dumitru, who labeled referee Radebes overall performance as horrible, then made a startling claim regarding his failure to award Santos a penalty for Zwanes indiscretion.

Radebe was actually feeling guilty for not initially awarding a penalty to us earlier."

Santos coach Boebie Solomons not surprisingly saw things very differently.

"I think the referee didn't have the courage to give the penalty against Chiefs," lamented Solomons. "If we were playing any team other than Chiefs, I have no doubt he would have given it (the penalty).

"He (the ref) said he didn't see it afterwards. But it didn't look like a mistake to me.

Referees cost us lots of money every week. Players are losing bonuses and coaches' careers are on the line."

Interestingly Chiefs appear to be blessed with luck in the Coca-Cola Cup, a competition that has seen them contest the last two finals.

Last season the Phefeni Glamour Boys benefited from a controversial refereeing decision in the semifinals against Ajax Cape Town.

Chiefs' midfielder Thabo Mooki erred and re-took a free-kick, using his hands to stop the ball. But to everyone's surprise, the referee waved play on and Chiefs immediately surged forward for Stanton Fredericks to score the winning goal, much to the dismay of the Ajax bench.

Chiefs later lost to Jomo Cosmos in the championship game; a reversal of the 2001/02 final in which Chiefs thumped the Ezenkhosi 5-0 to land the R2 million first prize.

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