Billiat tipped to be ace up Chiefs’ sleeve
Laffor feels criticism of former teammate has been unfair
Khama Billiat could be the main man for Kaizer Chiefs against Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco, tomorrow (9pm) should he be fit to play, according to former teammate at Mamelodi Sundowns Anthony Laffor.
Billiat played a huge role when Sundowns won the Champions League in 2016 after beating Zamalek in the final.
But since his move to Chiefs in 2018 amid high expectations with an exorbitant salary, he has won nothing with the Soweto giants.
Laffor, who also played a role in Sundowns winning the Champions League, believes this is the match that many could see the best of Billiat should he be selected.
The last time Billiat made an appearance in the competition was away at Horoya on April 10, when he scored the equaliser that secured Chiefs’ passage to the quarterfinals for the first time in the club's history.
“[He is] a very good player, with intelligence. It is just that injuries have been giving him problems lately, but I don’t doubt his ability,” Laffor told Sowetan yesterday.
“I believe if given a chance, especially playing against the North African teams, he can be dangerous and I believe that he can do better tomorrow for Chiefs.
“He was our main man in 2016, not taking anything away from Percy Tau and Keagan Dolly because they were top players at the club and they were delivering.
“Khama was just amazing week in and week out. I believe that he's still got that hunger in him. It is injuries that delay him. If given a chance in a big game like that, I believe he can come out with something so that Chiefs can be victorious.”
Billiat's last competitive game was on April 25 against Sundowns. A leg injury kept him out of the last 11 games in all competitions.
While many have criticised Billiat’s contribution since he joined the club in 2018, Laffor believes he has done well for the club.
“He has a big heart. I know him very well and I sent him a message telling him that things will be fine,” he said.
“If he is not injured, I believe he is going to do something big for Chiefs tomorrow.
“In my view, since Khama went to Chiefs he has been doing exceptionally well.
“On any given day, I still think he is still going to deliver. People judge him harshly because Chiefs are not number one or two in the league.”