Chiefs coach survives the axe – for now

Komphela will stay in charge until end of season

Steve Komphela
Steve Komphela
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Embattled Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has survived the axe after the club’s management elected, during a marathon five-hour meeting, to keep him until the end of the season rather than sack him.

Chiefs pleaded for patience while saying that decisive changes would have to be implemented at the end of the Premier Soccer League campaign. Komphela and his players were pelted with an assortment of missiles as they left the field after Saturday’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Chippa United at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.

The humiliating loss effectively ruled Amakhosi out of the league title race. “At this stage‚ circumstances do not permit us to make immediate changes [and fire Komphela]‚” Chiefs said.

“However‚ we are looking to have a complete overhaul of the team before the start of the new season.

“It is important for our supporters to note that, as management‚ we are listening to their concerns and share the pain.”

Chiefs also said they had met Stadium Management South Africa and relevant stakeholders after last weekend’s acts of hooliganism at the FNB Stadium.

“All stakeholders involved in the organisation of the event are reviewing the situation.

In the interim‚ we appeal to the supporters for calm and patience as there is still a lot to play for in the league and the Nedbank Cup‚” Chiefs said.

“We believe that there is a lot to fight for as the team is in the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup and there is a possibility of qualification for one of the continental competitions.

“Regardless of how dire the situation is‚ in the next few weeks‚ we sincerely appeal for calm‚ patience and good behaviour from supporters.

“We have to avoid endangering other supporters’ lives and the team. “As we move to the last few matches of the season‚ we really need your undivided support and assure you that decisive changes will happen before the new season to remedy the situation.”

Premier Soccer League officials said yesterday that they were awaiting the decision of the league’s prosecutor‚ Nande Becker‚ to establish whether Chiefs would be charged for the scenes of fan unruliness at the FNB Stadium.
It seems highly likely that Becker will charge Chiefs over the conduct of their supporters.

“The bottom line is that what happened there is not right‚ completely unacceptable,” PSL communications manager Luxolo September said yesterday.

“That said, we have to follow processes.

“The match commissioner’s report has been sent to the prosecutor of the league [Becker].

“And now we have to wait for him. Unfortunately, or fortunately‚ it’s a waiting game and we don’t ask him‚ ‘Are you going to prosecute?’

“It’s an independent process and it should always be.”