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Riveiro Reacts To Kopo: I Had To Protect My Players

  • May 5, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Riveiro Reacts To Kopo: I Had To Protect My Players

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has refused to address accusations of allegedly swearing at Chippa United co-coach Kwanele Kopo, who claimed Riveiro used offensive language.

Riveiro admitted there were heated moments during the game and that he reacted because he wasn’t pleased with certain behaviors on the field. He emphasized his usual reserved demeanor. “I’m not someone who likes to talk a lot, as everyone sees.”

The incident occurred during a tense match where Pirates secured a 3-1 victory over Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup semi-final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

“I don’t have opinions about what other colleagues’ opinions are,” said Riveiro, who has never lost the Nedbank Cup match since he was appointed last year.  

“It doesn’t make any sense. Who am I to if he feels that we use abusive language? There were moments of tension between the benches because I was not happy, I was not comfortable with the situation inside the field with some behaviors, somethings that were happening during the game which for me were not related to football at all.”  

While avoiding specifics, Riveiro reiterated his need to protect his players due to on-field occurrences that went beyond the game itself.

“One of the things that belong to my role is to try to protect my players, defend my players,” he said. 

“I am a quiet person, peaceful, extremely peaceful but there are moments when you must stand up and ask some questions about what is going on, that’s all.  

“He can give you his description, I’m ready to hear the words that were abusive, (but) not abusive because I think nothing happened out of the limits of competition, let’s say.” 

Pirates now await the winner of the other Ke Yona Cup semi-final between Stellenbosch and Mamelodi Sundowns, which takes place at Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday (15:00).

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