Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp
has bemoaned the fact that Khama Billiat played the full 90 minutes
for Zimbabwe despite being short of match fitness.
Billiat has featured just twice for Chiefs this season, having been
sidelined with a knee injury sustained at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 29-year-old was initially not included in Zimbabwe's back-to-back
qualifiers against Somalia on September 5 and 10. However, the star
forward was called up after the Warriors lost the first leg 1-0.
Billiat came to the rescue for his country with a 90th-minute winner
to claim a 3-1 victory in the second leg and a 3-2 aggregate win which
ensured their progression to the second round of the CAF 2022 World Cup
The ultimate decision to make the second leg was Billiat's himself
but while Middendorp admits it was beyond his control, he was not happy
with his player's decision.
"You should talk to the player. I actually have my own idea in this
direction and, ja, the player made his decision and that’s it," Middendorp said.
"It’s not about being impressed [with his performance]. We were not
able as the club to use the player for full 90 minutes at all until now.
"Now, running into [such a game] – I understand – serving his country
and so on, that is why I’m saying ask the player, how is he capable
three days later to do something responsible?
"I have my own idea about it, I have my own way when I’m talking
about loading; what is the idea behind effective training loading and
"One idea behind [this] is to keep and to get the players totally
injury free, and secondly the idea is to try as much as possible to get
the player to a certain competitiveness that they can contribute to a
team performance. So, now the rest you can put [thought] into yourself."
- TeamTalk Media