Chiefs Issue Emotional Statement Amid Growing Concerns
Kaizer Chiefs issued an emotional message to fans of the club and South Africans in general as they made a plea amid the terrible scenes that are currently engulfing the nation.
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South Africa has experienced a wave of protests, looting and violence of late that has led to the deaths of some and injury to many, something that stepped into the football industry when the Football Association of Zambia called off this weekend’s planned friendly in Lusaka.
Chiefs explained that they have had players from 15 different African countries – Zambia included – don their colours over the years since their inception back in 1970, and are calling for an end to the xenophobic attacks that are currently taking place.
A statement on the club’s official website this week spoke of how they are ‘grateful to the contributions of the African players they have brought into the club’, saying that for nearly 50 years they have been a ‘unifying force’ in the continent.
The statement in full reads:
“Amakhosi a uniting force… From the early years of its formation Kaizer Chiefs has always been a unifying force in South Africa and Africa, both socially, economically and politically creating an environment whereby players from the most marginalized regions of the country and the region could get the opportunity to change their social circumstances through sport.
“Chiefs have been able to bring in players of various backgrounds, cultures, religions and nationalities from various African countries over the club’s forty nine-year history to turn out for the team. The Amakhosi has been home to players from 15 African countries at various times in its history, with players coming to Chiefs and then moving onto other clubs around the globe, Chiefs has aided in launching several African players’ careers.
“Chiefs have been represented by highly talented hard-working players from no less than 15 African countries such as Burundi, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Ghana, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Players who have brought great success to the team and won the admiration of the team’s fans with their hardworking ethos.
“The Amakhosi from inception has had players from outside of South Africa representing the team in its first official league season in 1971. It had the Namibian player Herman ‘Pele’ Blaschke in its ranks as he contributed with 21 goals in all competitions that season and helped Chiefs win the 1971 Life Challenge cup.
“In Chiefs title winning season in 2003-04 the consistent and hard- working Zimbabwean international Tinashe Nengomasha was an important player for Chiefs playing in 27 league games and was named as the Premier Soccer League Player of the Season as Chiefs also won the Coca Cola Cup that season.
“A season later in 2004-05 Chiefs again won the league and Coca Cola Cup thanks to the 25 Absa Premiership goals and 35 goals in all competitions scored by the Zambian international Collins Mbesuma, whose goals fired Chiefs to the league title and along the way he won the affection of the Chiefs fans winning them over as he was nicknamed ‘Ntofontofo’.
“Chiefs history is invariably intertwined with that of the sporting history of the African continent as the club has always and will continue to be a showcase for African players that it can acquire. Chiefs have over 49 years been grateful to the contributions of the African players they have brought into the club.
“Say no to Xenophobia, Love and Peace for all.”