It was a day to forget for Kaizer Chiefs as they bombed out of Telkom Knockout in Nelspruit on Saturday, but why was their star player, Khama Billiat, left out of the matchday squad?
Having commented on the tie earlier in the week, it was thought that the Zimbabwean international would be out to play a starring role for the Glamour Boys as they took aim at a place in the TKO final, but eyebrows were raised when he wasn’t even in the squad, let alone the starting XI.
It turns out, however, that Ernst Middendorp’s decision to leave the attacker out of his side for the game – which Chiefs went on to lose 2-1 – was not a tactical one, but because of a fitness issue that Billiat has been dealing with.
The club confirmed on their social media ahead of kick off at Mbombela Stadium, “Khama Billiat reported to national team duty with a tight hamstring… After playing 2 matches with it, it is still niggling. He has been treated but it hasn’t recovered sufficiently for him to be eligible for selection.”
It remains to be seen whether the 29-year-old will be deemed fit enough for next week’s game against Stellenbosch FC on Wednesday night, but Middendorp will be itching for his side to regroup and refocus following today’s disappointment.