Orlando Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza has voiced his support for Thamsanqa Gabuza, and spoke of his positive influence on the squad.
The 31-year-old has been the talking point this week after storming off the pitch during the Buccaneers’ 2-1 victory over Black Leopards at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Gabuza has been criticised for what conspired, with many of the club’s supporters calling for his dismissal.
However, Khoza has since defended the veteran striker and his contributions to the team.
‘Gabuza is a special player. He is a team player. He makes the team laugh with his jokes. Gabuza is hardworking and he loves the club,’ Khoza told IOL.
‘There’s something special about the boy and that’s why I’m on his side. He’s like Senzo Meyiwa. Gabuza will never give you attitude. He is a nice boy.
‘Even if he is not in the 18-man team, you will find him at training, working hard as if he is part of the match-day squad. That’s how passionate the boy is.
He added: ‘We don’t condone his behaviour. As a role model, he should be able to deal with criticism positively. Your temperament must be able to overcome all the challenges.
‘You must concentrate on the game. Sometimes you need to be patient.
‘It was an act of misconduct and it really tarnished the reputation and the image of the club. But he is very remorseful for his actions. Gabuza is a very humble person. He told me he was wrong but he’s doing his best for the club.’
The chairman conceded that Gabuza’s actions were unprofessional, but he is willing to help the player through this point in his career.
‘It is very important to understand that for strikers to score goals, it also depends on your temperament, mixed emotions, anxiety and the energy,’ he added.
‘That can be influenced by your own supporters. There’s a difference between jeering and cheering. If people jeer at you, you end up losing your steps. You become destabilised. You end up losing your cool.
‘Gabuza is not a lazy player. He is the most performing player. He loves the club and he wants to give back. Gabuza was top goal-scorer under Shakes Mashaba for Bafana Bafana.’
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