Gavin Hunt feels it’s ‘ridiculous’ he can’t sit on the bench for CAF games

FILE - Gavin Hunt is purturbed that he has to sit on the bench for CAF matches. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - Gavin Hunt is purturbed that he has to sit on the bench for CAF matches. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Oct 1, 2023


Frustrating, disappointing and ridiculous.

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt was giving a lesson in synonyms deep inside the bowels of the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday night as he voiced out his exasperation at not being able to coach his team from the touchline in continental competition.

The multiple local championship winner sat in the stands as Matsatsantsa a Pitori smashed Gaborone United 3-0 for a 4-1 aggregate Caf Confederation Cup victory that earned them a place in the money-spinning group stages.

“It’s very frustrating. I have sat on the bench for the last 25 years, and all of a sudden I can’t sit on the bench,” a visibly irritated Hunt lamented during the post-match press conference. “I don’t know what it means, Caf ...” Caf have made it mandatory that a coach should have a Caf A Licence or a Pro Licence to sit on the bench.

“I don’t know why it has changed. I have a Uefa A Licence. I have been sitting on the bench for many years.

“I was in a quarter-final or semi-final of the (Caf) Champions League at (Kaizer) Chiefs two years ago.

“At Wits and Supersport (during his previous tenure years ago), I sat on the bench, played all the games from the group stages. Now I don’t know what happened,” he lamented.

“And then now one association says ‘Bugger you’ and the other says ‘Bugger you’.

“Obviously it’s not my argument. But I don’t know what happened. It’s ridiculous.”

Hunt knows, though, that he will have to toe the line if he is to be in full control of his team from the bench instead of trying to shout messages and use hand gestures to assist – like he did on Friday night when Grant Johnson was in charge.

“But we will try to get the conversion done or whatever it is I have to get done in November, and we’ll see.”

Hunt then took a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the system: “Maybe I should get a Caf C Licence. Both my daughters have a Caf C Licence ... Maybe they can sit on the bench. But they’ve never kicked a ball in their life.”

After being told Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro was sitting on the bench for the Buccaneers’ clash against Jwaneng Galaxy, who knocked them out via a penalty shoot-out on Friday night, Hunt said: “Does he have a Caf Licence?

When did he get it?”

Hunt being in the stands did not stop Supersport from progressing to the group stages, where they are guaranteed to earn a minimum of R7.5 million.

A brace by Nigerian Etiosa Ighodaro, plus a late goal from Bradley Grobler earned the makeshift team a 4-0 win.

All goals were scored in the second half following a poor initial stanza.

“I thought we looked a bit edgy at the start, but I (also) thought we played well. We scored two good individual goals from Ighodaro ... I mean real good goals by himself.

“It was a patched-up team – a lot of new players in there, some players who had not played.

“So, it was expected you know, we ran out of a bit of rhythm.

“But the longer the game we went, we seemed to get better. The most important thing is that we got through.”