Middendorp gets hostile reception
Angry fans confront Chippa coach on arrival at PE airport
EMBATTLED Chippa United coach Ernst Middendorp was greeted by a throng of angry supporters baying for his blood when the team arrived back from Johannesburg yesterday after their latest defeat against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday.
Chippa have not won since owner Siviwe Mpengesi fired Roger Sikhakhane in December last year and replaced him with Middendorp. In fact, they are on a 10-match winless streak, with the German recording two draws and three defeats in his five-match PSL tenure.
A 2-0 defeat to the Buccaneers in Soweto pushed fans over the edge and prompted some two dozen placard-carrying supporters to confront Middendorp at the Port Elizabeth airport yesterday afternoon.
Bemused Chippa players and other travellers looked on as the group chanted and hurled insults at Middendorp. Some players laughed; others shook their heads.
Disgruntled Chippa supporters waved placards reading “The coach is dead and the team is dead”, “Who is Middendorp? Oh . . . the ex Chippa United FC coach?” and “We want Roger back” while waiting at the arrivals gate.
The atmosphere became tense as their voices got louder. Some took pictures while others took videos of the action.
As Middendorp emerged, supporters shouted: “You must go! You must go!”
Meanwhile, other supporters sang an amended Chilli Boys anthem, “Asiphelelanga kushota uRoger” (“We are not complete without Roger”).
Pamela Buwa, of New Brighton, representing the Nebfa Chippa United Supporters’ Club, shouted in the coach’s face: “We have supported you from day one and this is how you repay us. You must go. You are taking our team back to NFD [National First Division].”
A furious Middendorp then asked Buwa: “Who is paying you and how much have they paid you?” She responded: “Nobody paid us. We are the supporters are not happy with the results. You must go.”