KHUNE RESPONDS TO KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CRITICISM
*Caption: Kaizer Chiefs representatives, Head Coach Steve Khomphela, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and striker Michelle Katsvairo at a pre-match conference that was held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Written by: Samkele Sokhela
Kaizer Chiefs first-choice goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune has responded to football fans’ criticism that they lack ambition and hunger when participating in continental tournaments.
Last time Amakhosi took part in the Africa’s elite premier club competition was back last year when they failed for the third successive time to progress through the tournament’s group qualifying phase.
Chiefs’ poor run in Africa has in recent years caused millions of their fans criticising them for ‘not taking African competitions very seriously’. However, now according to Amakhosi’s team captain Khune, the Soweto giants have always treated every tournament the same, with determination and it has been just unfortunate that things haven’t been going well in continental tournaments for them.
“We are always ambitious in every cup competition we play. And every time we get an opportunity to play in CAF competitions, we give it our all. Things just don’t go the way we want them to go at times, but from now we just have to keep pushing,” said Khune.
The Glamour Boys’ skipper then pleaded the Amakhosi faithfuls to be patient, and expressed that as Chiefs players, they don’t like being compared to other teams.
“We cannot all do well. I remember, about three years ago Pirates won a double-treble, that was their time. This year Downs just won the Champions league, things have been good for them. But then, for us we are just waiting for the next CAF opportunity. We want to do our best like we have always been. We are in our own lane. And for me, personally I don’t like comparisons,” concluded the 2016 African Player of the Year nominee.
Sports Analyst, Bongani Yengwa defends the South African football powerhouses and has reminded the critics that they must not forget that Chiefs is the most successful football club in South Africa.
“I think the critics are unfair. Few years ago, just before Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned African champions, people, specifically Chiefs fans were bragging, saying their club is the team with the most titles in the country. And now that Sundowns have won the champions league, now they are raising the issue that Chiefs don’t take continental competitions seriously,” said Yengwa.
“No player or team in the world goes in the field of play to loose. Chiefs’ time of doing well in Africa hasn’t arrived, fans need to understand that. Pirates won the star in 1995 because they had a lot of quality in their squad, and so did the Sundowns in 2016. Kaizer Chiefs need to buy quality players,” added Yengwa.