PSL chairman Irvin Khoza has defended against critics who believe some local teams – including Kaizer Chiefs – do not take CAF competitions seriously.
Khoza was in high spirits at the OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday morning as supporters and dignitaries gathered to welcome African champions Mamelodi Sundowns home from their triumphant trip to Egypt.
Also in attendance was Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung, Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and numerous other VIPs.
With The Brazilians becoming only the second South African team to lift the prestigious CAF Champions League trophy, many have criticised Chiefs’ history and seriousness in the tournament as they have yet to reach the group stages.
However, the ‘Iron Duke’ says Amakhosi boss Kaizer Motaung has always spent the money with the hopes of his team going all the way to lift the continental club crown, but things have never been easy for the Soweto side.
“Chiefs take this competition very serious,” said Khoza. “I know Kaizer always spent money on chartered flights, which comes [at a cost of] a lot of rands.
“They are not sponsored – these kind of trips – so everybody is taking their chance to make sure they want to win this tournament, but it is not easy on the continent if you cannot be resilient and adapatable.”
Khoza added that the Brazilians’ continental success this year will motivate other clubs in the PSL to emulate them.
“Sundowns has motvated everybody, [showing] that you can only earn respect if you win on the continent,” added Khoza, whose club Orlando Pirates also lifted the trophy back in 1995.