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Middendorp is livid that his club were refereed in successive games by Victor Gomes – who handed out three red cards in four days to the KZN club

“At first I thought it was a joke. How is something like this possible?” asked the taciturn German of the appointment of Gomes to handle their home defeat by Platinum Stars on Tuesday and then a 1-0 loss away at Ajax Cape Town on Friday.

“To have the same referee twice in four days is not right.”

Gomes sent off the Maritzburg centre back Mohamed Awal on Tuesday. “He (Gomes) was a disaster on Tuesday. Then we arrive at the Ajax match to find he is in charge again. That took so much energy out of my players before the game even started.”

Gomes sent off assistant coach Ronnie Kanalelo and a medical staff member in the first half of the game against Ajax, which Maritzburg lost to a late goal from Toriq Losper.

“I’m sure we’ll have him when we play Orlando Pirates in 10 days time,” Middendorp added sarcastically. “It’s just not right.”

Gomes’ officious style of refereeing was also highlighted by Ajax coach Jan Pruijn, who said he told his players before kick off not to dispute any of the referee’s decision for fear of provoking a card from a tempestuous official.

Refereeing matters are overseen by the South African Football Association and appointments made by a committee that former World Cup linesman Ari Soldatos has long been in charge of.