Motaung stands by coach
KAIZER Motaung yesterday threw his full weight behind new Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter despite allegations of irregularities with the Englishman's CV.
Baxter, a former Bafana coach, was handed the Kaizer Chiefs coaching job last week and will begin work in the new season.
But reports emerged at the weekend that there were unexplained "successes" in the coach's curriculum vitae since his departure from the Bafana job.
Motaung yesterday defended his man, to whom he has awarded a two-year contract with an option to renew. The Chiefs chairman explained away the new coach's assertion that he had won a title with: "in his mind, perhaps winning promotion in Japan is (like) winning the title".
Baxter said in his CV that he had won the championship in Japan in 2006 and had also taken Swedish club Helsingborgs to the last 16 of the Europa League.
But the coach had in fact helped Vissel Kobe to promotion into the Japanese Premier Division by way of a play-off and made it to the last 32 - not 16 - of the Europa League with the Swedish club.
"Mistakes always happen when people talk," said Motaung. "Sometimes you might say something out of turn and I think that is what happened with the coach. When these things happen they might be blown out of proportion."
Chiefs fans had already reacted with anger on social networks to Baxter's appointment. Then news that he could have embellished his CV heightened their dissatisfaction.
"I'm not surprised that there's negativity around hiring a new coach. There will always be mixed feelings about employing a new coach, even if we hired (Jose) Mourinho tomorrow, people will ask what does Mourinho know about football in South Africa," said Motaung.
He said Baxter's mandate for the next two seasons was to win the Absa Premiership, which has eluded Chiefs for the past seven years.
"I have checked his credentials and I believe he has the ability to put a team together that can win the league," Motaung said.
The Amakhosi boss said it was not a mistake to hire Baxter, who was not first choice for the job.
It emerged yesterday that Steve Komphela had been in contention for the post until he accepted the job as Bafana assistant coach.
"We looked at a local coach but I can safely say he overcommitted... and that ruled him out from this job," said Motaung.
"There was a possibility of him becoming our coach, but with his situation, it became impossible."