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Doc: I’m Not Even Ashamed To Tell You This…

In this week’s SportPesa Clubhouse column, ambassador Doctor Khumalo spoke out about the treatment that South African teams experience when playing in continental competitions.‘16V’ went on to share his an encounter that he experienced while still at Kaizer Chiefs when the team took part in the CAF Confederation Cup.

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“I’m not even ashamed to tell you this and everyone at Chiefs can attest to this. We were playing in the Confederation Cup and, as we walked into the stadium, stones were thrown at us and we didn’t even know where they were coming from. The reason I’m bringing this up is because we like to compare ourselves with our European counterparts and, truth be told, we are miles off the pace when it comes to professionalism and the spirit of FAIR PLAY. I’m not trying to discredit anyone, but this truth needs to be told.

“When we went to play in Congo when Mark Fish was brutally attacked on the field, our game was scheduled to start at 15h00 and our hosts decided to paint our change room after 12h00. At 13h00, we had to undergo identification in the same change room and it is something that has to be done inside the change room. Can you imagine what we went through there? Everyone was coughing and we could hardly focus, which was mission accomplished for the hosts. When they came here, they experienced the best treatment as if nothing had happened.

“Much as we were upset about the hostile treatment, it took Tata Madiba’s words when he told us not to stoop to the opposition’s level. He said we must never treat them the way they treated us because that’s not going to help us in any way. When someone has done you wrong, you don’t retaliate, you just show them how to treat people. You have the facilities and infrastructure, so give it to them. That’s why we never bothered to retaliate because Madiba’s words made sense. When I heard what Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane, revealed about the bad treatment they’ve been receiving, I knew what he was talking about. It is a pity that some people think these are excuses. When these teams are leading, you won’t find ball boys, but just take the lead and, all of a sudden, there are ball boys who are rushing to get the ball back onto the field. That treatment builds a strong character within individuals. Once again, this is not to cause any problems and we are all saying no to xenophobia, but these things need to be told.”

To read Doctor’s previous column click here

To check out the full SportPesa Clubhouse column, grab a copy of this week’s Soccer Laduma issue 1107.

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