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Kaizer Chiefs’ Bobby Motaung on transfer ban: ‘We can’t be held responsible or apologise’

Bobby Motaung during the Carling Black Label Champion Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bobby Motaung during the Carling Black Label Champion Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung has said he does not take personal responsibility for the handling of the signing of Malagasy midfielder Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana.

The signing of Dax was adjudged to be illegal by world governing body Fifa and led to Amakhosi handed a two-window transfer ban which means they will only be able to sign players in July 2021.

Motaung‚ who enjoys a love and hate relationship Amakhosi fans‚ said Chiefs cannot be held responsible either for the matter regarding the Madagascan midfielder nor should he or the club apologise to their supporters.

Motaung said in an interview with Thabiso Mosia on Sport on SAfm on Thursday that for Chiefs‚ “there are no regrets” in the handling of the Dax matter‚ in which Fifa’s ruling was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland last month.

Motaung said Confederation of African Football (Caf) politics had influenced the decision against Chiefs‚ naming president of the continental ruling body‚ Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar.

Motaung was asked‚ given the Dax issue is the one that pains supporters most at present‚ if Chiefs could have handled it better as a club.

“There’s no regret in that respect. I think people don’t understand sometimes how player negotiations happen‚” he responded.

“And there are in politics in every country and everywhere. And I mean this was a unique a situation where we even appealed.

“I mean‚ if it was a mistake we would not have even gone for an appeal. We would have realised that even long before.

“We follow processes when we start signing players. So we did follow all the processes. “Unfortunately‚ the politics behind the story of this thing with Dax‚ I could sit here and debate the whole day with people – it was that political.

“And for us‚ we were in a situation where we decided‚ ‘You know what‚ let’s bite the bullet. We still have the club‚ we still have the players. Let’s work with what we have.

“It might be a blessing to some of them players who were not even given a chance last season to raise their hands.

“ ... But the issue of Caf is political‚ my brother‚ it’s very political. To a point where as a club we have decided to move on and soldier on. And look at our challenges‚ and regroup‚ and work with the squad that we respect that has done well for us‚ and move on.

“There’s no regret at all.”

Motaung was asked if‚ when he referred to Caf politics‚ he was referring to Ahmad.

“The Caf president‚ and the [football] association president of Madagascar [Arno Steenkist]‚ who is the club owner of the team of Dax [Fosa Juniors] at the time when they were in an amateur league‚” he said.

Motaung said he does not take personal responsibility for the matter.

“How would I take responsibility? It’s a collective responsibility‚” he said.

“We serve as a collective‚ we work as a collective. We have never won a cup or a league and I say‚ ‘I won the league’.

“It’s a collective. The club worked as a collective to fight this case. So I take responsibility for anything that happens at Chiefs because I am the manager. But it’s a collective.

“I will sit here and respond to them and say: we were not wrong‚ there was nothing wrong that we did.

“I have been doing this thing of signing players for years. It’s not cut and paste where you go into a shop and buy groceries and come out.”

It was put to Motaung that some fans believe that the club‚ or he‚ owe them an apology for the situation of a ban on signings.

“No‚ we can’t be held responsible or owe an apology. I mean it’s part of the business‚” he said.

“We have signed players before‚ we have lost players before – all the years. I mean it’s been happening for years.

“The only challenge that we are faced with now is that it’s a ban that came up‚ and it’s the first time we face this type of a ban.

“But this challenge has been there football. If we apologise now it means you can’t sign players any more in football. Because there is this challenge that is still going ahead in the future.”

Chiefs‚ after a bumpy start to 2020-21 under new coach Gavin Hunt‚ meet Lamtonville Golden Arrows in Saturday’s DStv Premiership match-up at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont‚ Durban.