Lebese backs former Kaizer Chiefs team-mate Maluleka's decision to join Sundowns
US-based midfielder George Lebese came out to defend former Kaizer Chiefs team-mate George Maluleka on Wednesday after it was revealed that the later had signed a pre-contract with rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.
Maluleka incurred the wrath of many AmaKhosi supporters when the club announced that after a string of contract extension negotiations‚ the player himself revealed that he was joining Sundowns.
Chiefs supporters reacted swiftly and while some were sympathetic to the 31-year-old Maluleka‚ many others voiced their unhappiness with the player's decision to join a club that is involved in a bitter league title race with AmaKhosi‚ and at such a crucial stage of the season.
We had a brief chat grootman— GL_17 (@GeorgeLebese) March 11, 2020
But he has to make a decision that’s best for him and his family and I guess this is it ??♂️his experience can be different ,which is what I hope for
Lebese‚ who himself faced similar scrutiny when he joined Sundowns from Chiefs in August 2017‚ said he backed his former team-mate's decision.
But in an interview with Robert Marawa on Marawa TV in November last year‚ the Mamelodi-born Lebese said he miscalculated his move to Sundowns and was influenced by monetary issues.
“It was a very difficult stage where I had to make a decision and quick.
"[There were] a lot of temptations and I wouldn’t blame it on anyone‚ and say [it was about] not getting proper advice‚” he said at the time.
“I’d say it was what I wanted then. I was still happy at Chiefs but there’s lot of other factors that came in and I was tempted to make that decision.
“Like I tell people‚ two things had to happen – either I move on and probably regret or I stay and regret not going. I say better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if’ and you learn – it’s life‚ it’s football.”
Lebese was released by Sundowns in September last year and joined US side Colorado Springs Switchbacks in December after spending months on the sidelines.
I hear he signed a pre-contract with Sundowns , good luck boy I wish you all the best for the future , good thing our beloved #Amakhosi4life will remain forever , players come and go and he is not the first to leave and obviously not the last , I love @kaizerChiefs ❤️✌️ pic.twitter.com/5hFbCdXjug— Ayakhanya Khoselihle (@Tobisani1) March 11, 2020
Unsurprisingly‚ social media has since exploded in the aftermath of the news of Maluleka's departure being made official‚ with some of the highlights below:
To be honest...— Shakes Rampedi (@ShakesRampedi) March 11, 2020
Even as a Amakhosi fan...
I'm not even hurt that George Maluleka is leaving Kaizer Chiefs for Mamelodi Sundowns#AbsaPrem #AbsaPremiership #SSDiski #KickOff #PSL #Amakhosi4Life #BackToBrilliance #KaizerChiefs #Sundowns #NedbankCup2020 #NedbankCup #PTFWS pic.twitter.com/rA7cTZRupg
George Maluleka got himself a nice retirement package with that Sundowns deal, I see it as a good move financially considering his age— Thuto Mokele (@ThutoMoukz) March 11, 2020