Two of Golden Arrows players were told by referee Chavali Jelly to cut off their iziphandla.
Right-back Siyabonga Dube and striker Sibusiso Sibeko were told to cut them off prior to Arrows 1-0 win over Polokwane City in the Telkom Knockout last-16 at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday.
Even when the players asked the referee to have covered them up, the referee did not agree.
He laid down the law that they should be removed.
“It is very sad that two of our players have encountered such thing because I’ve never heard or seen it before,” said Arrows’ assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi said.
"This can cause serious danger in the players’ lives. Isiphandla is a connection to ancestors. You cannot cut it off without informing the ancestors. This is done to create a connection with them."
It is worn for many traditional purposes by Africans who practise their tradition and belief in ancestors.
Many wear it with a sense of pride and honour, as a sign of belonging and celebration.
Isiphandla is made from a goat skin; it is taken from the goat’s leg, but there are rules you follow when doing the ritual.
“We spoke to him that even in the laws of the game that has never happened before,” added Ncikazi.
“I’m fearing what will happen to them because this is part of them seeking protection from their ancestors.”