Kaizer Chiefs coach Middendorp upset Billiat couldn’t play against Maritzburg United

The German-born manager is unhappy with how the attacker’s hamstring strain wasn’t taken seriously by his national team doctors last week

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp admits he was upset that he couldn’t use Khama Billiat against Maritzburg United. 

Billiat’s absence from the matchday squad caused a stir on social media platforms soon after the release of the starting line-up by Amakhosi. 

According to the German mentor, Billiat honoured Zimbabwe national team call-ups with an already tight hamstring and he didn’t expect Warriors to take a risk and play the attacker.   

“It’s upsetting [that Billiat could not play]. He definitely went already with a tight hamstring into two national team games, but [there is] nothing we can do,” Middendorp told the media.

“He played against Botswana, and was already playing with pain.”

Middendorp revealed that Billiat came back with this pain on his hamstring after scoring twice against Zambia in midweek. 

He added that the talisman failed a late fitness test on Saturday afternoon and that’s when it came to his attention that he couldn’t play against the Team of Choice.  

“He came back despite this and played in Zambia, and it was not possible [to get him ready to play against Maritzburg United],” added Middendorp. 

“We tried on Saturday afternoon with a late [fitness] test, but it was impossible to bring him in.”

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Billiat travelled with his teammates to Mbombela on Friday as the technical team had hoped he would be ready for the semi-final encounter. 

Amakhosi lost the match 2-1 to the Team of Choice who will now face Billiat’s former club, Mamelodi Sundowns, in the TKO final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 14.   

Middendorp’s men will switch focus to the league this week when they take on Stellenbosch FC on Wednesday night, and it remains to be seen if Billiat will be available for selection.   

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