The biggest football story in South Africa this week has been the banning of Kaizer Chiefs from participating in the next two transfer windows until June 2021.
This is a punishment from the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) after Chiefs signed Andriamirado “Dax” Andriarimanana, who was ruled by the world’s governing body to have breached his contract with Madagascar side Fosa Junior by signing with Chiefs.
Dax, who is now with Black Leopards was banned for four months and they have both been ordered by the FIFA DRC to pay his former club Fosa Juniors R640 000 by early March.
Chiefs have already confirmed that they are appealing the matter and head coach Ernst Middendorp says he’s concentrating on the current squad for now.
With Chiefs in pole position currently, in the title race, they are strong candidates to play in the lucrative CAF Champions League next season.
They need to finish in the top two to achieve this and they will be chasing a maiden group stages spot, but they will need a strong squad to achieve that.
This is where this could hit them, but the appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) could also buy them time to suspend the DRC decision for now.
The Chiefs squad is aging and the players from the reserve side are not strong enough to compete on the continent but Middendorp is still showing a brave face.
Last weekend, in the Nedbank Cup during the 1-0 win over Royal Eagles, Middendorp gave a rare start to the club’s captain Itumeleng Khune between the goalposts.
But the German-born coach has reiterated that Nigerian international Daniel Akpeyi, will return to the starting line-up against Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
With Chiefs 9 points clear at the top with 11 games to go in the Absa Premiership title race, Middendorp says he’s not started looking over his shoulder yet.
He was responding to questions about his presence during Maritzburg United’s 1-0 win over their title rivals Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu