Kaizer Chiefs have written to SAFA with a compromise regarding CHAN 2014, saying they can release their players after the Mamelodi Sundowns encounter.
The CHAN tournament, which begins in just under two weeks' time, has been the topic of speculation over the last week after head coach, Gordon Igesund, named six Chiefs and five Sundowns players in his squad, despite them having a game on January 23, midway through the competition.
Chiefs stated on their website following the team announcement that they would not be releasing any of their players, though SAFA insisted that an agreement had already been reached stating that they would.
Since then, Sundowns have also issued a statement regarding their players, with it now seeming that they may now look to withdraw their five from the squad.
Now, speaking to the Siya crew, the Amakhosi’s Corporate Communications Manager, Vina Maphosa, says that too much is being made of the situation, and that Chiefs have offered a compromise.
Maphosa told the crew, “Chiefs’ situation is not as complex as many would like to make it. We engaged with SAFA in this matter well in advance as a show of commitment and respect to the national team, and we appealed, with reason, for Chiefs players to be excused.
“Initially we advanced our right in terms of CHAN not being a sanctioned FIFA date, but later we realized that, given our CAF commitments and PSL fixture congestion, releasing our players would lead them to be overloaded, with our preparations for Sundowns and CAF fixtures consequently being hampered.
“Coach Baxter stated at the post-match press conference after the AmaZulu demolition job that cooperating with SAFA in this matter should not be at the expense of Chiefs’ success, and our Football Manager, Bobby Motaung also stated that Chiefs will not release their players.
“Chiefs later on wrote a letter to SAFA agreeing to release the players after the Sundowns game on the 23rd, while also reiterating our support for the national team within reason.
“We are aware of the agreements reached by SAFA and the club chairmen as stated by SAFA, and as soon as everybody returns to the office next week the matter will be crystalized accordingly. The PSL and SAFA have already agreed that Chiefs' and other teams' games will go on during CHAN."
Bafana’s first CHAN game will see them take on Mozambique at Cape Town Stadium on January 11, though at this stage it remains to be seen whether there will be any Chiefs or Sundowns players involved.