South African football giants Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has expressed anger over Zimbabwe’s use of Khama Billiat in two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia while he carried an injury.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Billiat failed a fitness test on Saturday and could not play for Amakhosi who lost 2-1 to Maritzburg United in the semi-final of the Telkom Knock-Out Cup at Mombela Stadium on Sunday.
Judas Mosemaesdi powered Maritzburg United (home to Zimbabweans Clive Augusto and Gabriel Nyoni) to the Telkom Knock-Out final with a brace, scoring in either half, while Kaizer Chiefs got their consolation goal in the second half through Yagan Sasman. Augusto and Nyoni did not play in that match.
The Warriors’ talisman Billiat starred for the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team, notching a brace in the 2-1 win over Zambia’s Chipolopolo at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka last Tuesday.
He had also featured in the goalless draw against The Zebras of Botswana on November 15 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare and Midderndop asserts Billiat was nursing a hamstring injury that could have aggravated while he was on national duty.
The German mentor is upset he could not use the attacker against Maritzburg United.
“It’s upsetting. He definitely went already with a tight hamstring into two national team games, but there is nothing we can do. He played against Botswana and was already playing with pain,” Midderndop told South African media.
Billiat failed a late fitness test on Saturday and was ruled out of the Telkom semi-final.
“He came back despite this and played in Zambia and it was not possible (to get him ready to play against Maritzburg United). We tried on Saturday afternoon with a late (fitness) test, but it was impossible to bring him in,” Middendorp said.
Kaizer Chiefs lead the pack in Absa Premier Soccer League with 28 points in 11 games, 10 points ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns and tonight they take on Stellenbosch at Cape Town Stadium and the Zimbabwean might also miss that game.