Kaizer Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung said the club’s coach, Ernst Middendorp is not in trouble over his remarks concerning Zimbabwe international, Khama Billiat.
Middendorp was unimpressed by Billiat’s participation in the recent Warriors vs Somalia World Cup qualifier in which he scored the decisive goal that sent Zimbabwe through to the group stages.
Speaking to reporters after he had just been announced the Absa Premiership Coach of the Month for August, Middendorp said:
We were not able to use the player as a club for the full 90 minutes at all, and I understand wanting to serve his country and so on.
That is why I say ask Billiat. How is he capable then, three days later, to do something responsible?
Motaung revealed that Middendorp’s remarks were uncalled for since rules stipulate that even if the player is injured he’s got to report to national team camp, then doctors in national team camp have to make their own assessments based on our reports and they make a call. He said:
He is not in trouble. You know that coaches are very emotional people and they have their own pressures.
I think he is trying to look after the player and make sure that he manages injuries. At the end of the day, national duty is a national duty but he is not in trouble. [But] It was uncalled for to make a statement like that.
We will support the coach as much as possible because it is our responsibility and part of our job.
There is no club that would like a team that is weak – we always support the coach and at the moment things are going well for the technical staff and we want to keep it that way. There is something that they have done right and they must stick to that.