Swallows coach Ernst Middendorp called the behaviour of the fourth referee “disgusting and embarrassing”, insisting he’s never been “attacked” like this by an official before.

The Dube Birds lost 4-1 to Orlando Pirates on Friday night, with Monnapule Saleng stealing the show after being involved in all four, scoring a hat-trick and setting up the other by Terrence Dzvukamanja.

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However, it wasn’t his side’s performance that upset the German tactic, but rather the alleged antics of fourth official Thando Ndzandzeka.

“Never, ever in the entire time [of my career], a fourth referee is following me in the box, provoking me in a way, insulting me in a way I haven’t received any attack from a fourth referee,” he said when asked by iDiski Times.

“I was quiet, I was not saying anything. He was waiting. If I would’ve said one word, whatever it should be, he was absolutely targeting me to take me off.

“It took a little bit of pleasure out of heaving any discussion with the fourth official. But it is ok, we talk about professionals, amateurs, officials, non-officials, and let me not describe it further.

“Why is a referee, we fight for staying in the league, do our job, why is the fourth referee following a coach into his area, provoking him in a way it’s disgusting, embarrassing.

“Sorry, I’m only happy that I didn’t react ti that, I was calm enough to take it and to leave it.”

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Middendorp is not the only coach to complain about the performance or behaviour of match officials off late and it remains to be seen whether SAFA will act on the situation.

Swallows, meanwhile, stayed in 14th place with 24 points from 22 games and will next face Golden Arrows.

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