DURBAN – If Kaizer Chiefs don’t win the CAF Confederation Cup, or at least reach the knockout stage, it wouldn’t be through a lack of trying. It would simply be because they aren’t good enough.
Amakhosi have no choice but to take this competition seriously this season, instead of looking down on it like they have done in the past.
In 2005 the Confederation of African Football (CAF) slapped Chiefs with a three-year ban from CAF competitions after they refused to honour a Confederation Cup fixture, following their demotion from the CAF Champions League. Under Stuart Baxter, the Soweto giants fielded a second string team in the competition and only sent assistant coach Doctor Khumalo to one of the away fixtures.
Their actions in the past have led to people believing they look down on this competition. But after three barren seasons, and a coach who is looking to impress, Chiefs have no choice but to give the Confederation Cup their all.
They could get away with not taking it seriously in the past because they were chasing league glory, which they got, and the Confederation Cup wasn’t that financially rewarding. They have no excuses now that there’s more money (just over R17 million for the winners) and no local glory on the horizon.