Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp was out of order by questioning Khama Billiat’s appearance for his Zimbabwean national team during the 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary match against Somalia earlier this week.
This is according to Chiefs Football Manager Bobby Motaung when he was asked on Friday if Middendorp was following the club’s policy in dealing with international call-ups.
After missing the first leg away where the Zim Warriors lost 1-0, Billiat was called up for the second leg in Harare together with AmaZulu’s Ovidy Karuru to reinforce the squad. And Motaung says he was well within his right to take part in this game.
Speaking to SABC Sport after accepting the Absa Premiership Coach of the Month award for August on Thursday, Middendorp was questioning how Billiat, who has been recovering from injuries here at home, would go on to take part in this World Cup qualifier.
Middendorp’s outburst on Billiat will give credence to some claims that the two don’t see eye to eye, with the player also reported not to be entirely happy with the coach’s tactics.
There have been claims that Middendorp feels the Zimbabwean international is choosing certain matches to play and this comes on the back of a failed move back to Mamelodi Sundowns where he came from in 2018.
SABC Sport understands that Middendorp’s public comments about the players are not well received inside and they’ve got a potential to also divide the dressing room.
But Motaung was quick to say this matter will be dealt with internally and there’s nothing to worry about.
Meanwhile, Middendorp will be hoping his side continue with their unbeaten run on Saturday when they host Polokwane City at FNB Stadium at 18:00.
The German-born coach says all the players are available on Saturday including Billiat, but he spells it out that his team is not dependent on individuals.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu