The upcoming Macufe Cup between Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic next Sunday will put three men in the spotlight again – Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung, Celtic chairperson Max Tshabalala and Amakhosi striker Camaldine Abraw.
The trio became the centre of attention during the transfer window over the ownership of Abraw (25), who the two clubs claimed had signed with them prior to the start of the current season.
The annual Macufe Cup at the Free State Stadium will be the third time Amakhosi and Siwelele cross paths in a space of 42 days.
When City Press contacted the teams’ bosses this week on whether they had smoked the proverbial peace pipe, the two maintained there was no animosity between them.
Interestingly, the Amakhosi manager revealed he was yet to meet Tshabalala in person.
Said Motaung: “There is nothing personal between us. We are just colleagues involved in the football business. I have never met him before. I don’t understand why the media want to make this a story. Football is just a game and it is about opinions.”
Tshabalala concurred: “There is nothing between us. It’s just football.” He immediately asked to be excused to slip into a board meeting.
The Abraw dispute is yet to be resolved despite the Togolese international striker continuing to appear for Chiefs in official games since his debut in a 4-1 win over SuperSport United three weeks ago.
“We are still waiting for the PSL’s investigations on the matter,” said Celtic chief executive Khumbulani Konco.
Abraw was not part of the Amakhosi team that edged Siwelele 2-1 over two legs in the MTN8 Cup semifinals in August. It remains to be seen if Abraw will be in coach Steve Komphela’s match day squad for the Macufe contest.
That is if the striker is not called up by Togo for the Sparrow Hawks’ friendly against Niger five days after the Macufe Cup.
Celtic beat Chiefs – the four-time champions – 5-3 on penalties last year and the Free Staters will be bidding for their sixth trophy since the event’s inception in 2004.