PSL

SSU keen on Chiefs' CAF spot

2014-07-20 14:44
Cavin Johnson (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson says the club would be willing to stand in as the fourth South African participant in CAF continental competitions next year, should Kaizer Chiefs opt out of participating.

"If it so happens I think we would be keen to compete in Africa because testing ourselves in Africa would be good for the team," Johnson said on Saturday.

The United tactician was speaking at Lucas Moripe Stadium after his side were crowned Gauteng Football Cup champions, beating Mamelodi Sundowns 4-3 on penalties.

"How else will the players grow if we don't play the best against the best teams on the continent?"

CAF announced last week that South Africa would be allocated two spots in its Confederations Cup, and two spots in the Champions League.

With Chiefs yet to confirm their participation in the competition, media reports suggest the Glamour Boys may skip the competition entirely.

Chiefs' general manager Bobby Motaung was last week quoted as saying the club was yet to make a decision on the matter.

Last year's Premiership runners-up, Chiefs, and champions Sundowns qualified automatically for the CAF Champions League, while Nedbank Cup champions Orlando Pirates and runners-up Wits have made the grade for the Confederations Cup.

With four Premiership teams set to compete in Africa, United -- having finished fourth in the Premiership -- could be thrown into the continental mix should Chiefs opt out of participation.

Chiefs have had an indifferent history with CAF competitions, having been banned twice in the last decade for declining to take part in continental tournaments.

If United are to stand in for Chiefs, Johnson said he would strategise with the club' management hierarchy about how they would approach the competition.

"We would first have to sit with my bosses and discuss the way forward. But I think it would be another great opportunity for us. We are definitely would be up for the challenge."

Last year Chiefs made a return to continental competition when they contested in both the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup.

Amakhosi were knocked out of the Champions League by the Democratic Republic of the Congo's AS Vita, with a 3-2 aggregate score-line.

Chiefs were relegated to the Confederations Cup, where they were eliminated 3-1 by Asec Mimosa from the Ivory Coast.

United also competed in the Confederations Cup last season but exited the tournament after suffering a 4-1 aggregate loss to Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.

Johnson said it was a learning curve and that the club would always have a sense of pride representing the country in Africa.

"It was an eye opening experience for our players last season because for many it was the first time playing against top African opposition. I think we have grown stronger from that and have learnt a lot."

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