Today is the day that Kaizer Chiefs and everyone associated with the club have been waiting for… the end of the FIFA ban!
Amakhosi were slapped with a shock two-window transfer sanction by the world football governing body, FIFA, for improperly registering Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana, a Malagasy international whom they thought did not have a binding contract in August 2018.
Now, more than a year since that sanction was handed down, Chiefs will open their books for fresh faces and as many as six have all but been confirmed to the Siya crew by a number of independent sources close to the club.
Brandon Petersen, Sifiso Hlanti, Kgaogelo Sekgota and Phathutshedzo Nange are the Bidvest Wits quartet that had agreed to deals in October last year, but could not be registered following the failed appeal to overturn the FIFA ban.
Gavin Hunt, who coached the Clever Boys for seven years before the club was sold exactly a year ago, was understood to have played a major role in convincing his then new employers to secure their services.
According to Siya sources, Amakhosi then had to negotiate that they be parked elsewhere for the season and return when the ban was lifted, a date that has now arrived and opens a world of possibilities for the hierarchy.
Hlanti and Sekgota joined Swallows, while Nange moved to Stellenbosch – all putting pen to paper on short-term deals structured in a way that would allow them to make a swift move to Chiefs ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Petersen, however, remained at Naturena to complete his rehabilitation, having suffered an injury while still playing for Wits.
Indications are that two more defenders have been added to the list of incoming players at Chiefs – they are centreback Njabulo Ngcobo from Swallows and left back Sibusiso Mabiliso, who is expected to join from AmaZulu as a free agent.
Amakhosi, insiders have informed the Siya crew, edged Mamelodi Sundowns in the race to sign Ngcobo, the reigning Defender of the Season.
Hunt may be gone, but indications are that coach Stuart Baxter had already been briefed about Petersen, Hlanti, Sekgota and Nange, as well as Mabiliso.
Although talks for Ngcobo’s signature began as far back as February, when the Siya crew broke the news – at a time when Hunt was still in the hot seat, and it is understood that Baxter was consulted and informed of the potential transfer.
The Englishman would have had no qualms about having a player who’s enjoyed a steady rise recently, by being crowned the best in his position in the entire DStv Premiership and then being called up to Bafana.
Will there be more in the coming days?
Story by @superjourno
Below is a list of players expected to join Chiefs for the 2021/22 season!