Akpeyi’s Kaizer Chiefs ‘clampdown’ on players after title defeat
After losing the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) title to its rivals Mamelodi Sundowns on the last day of the season, Kaizer Chiefs have reportedly banned its players from granting interviews to journalists.
Going into Saturday’s crucial away game against relegation threatened Baroka, Kaizer Chiefs needed an outright win to claim a first league title since 2015.
It turned out to be a huge disappointment, as they could only play a 1-1 draw despite taking the lead in the tension-soaked encounter through Khama Billiat’s 39th minutes goal. On their part, Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Black Leopards 3-0 to emerge champions with 59 points on the table ahead of Kaizer Chiefs’ 57 points.
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, was not in action for Kaizer Chiefs in their last two matches following a nasty injury he copped in their 1-0 away loss to Bidvest Wits. In that game, he collided with Bidvest Wits’ Mxolisi Macuphu, while attempting to punch the ball away in the 43rd minute. Akpeyi received medical attention on the pitch for about 10 minutes before he was stretchered off later.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that Akpeyi and his teammates had been given strict warning not to grant interviews to journalists by the club management.
A source close to the club’s management hinted that Kaizer Chiefs were unhappy with the way they lost the title to Mamelodi Sundowns after raising the hope of their supporters and fans by topping the table for a greater part of the season
“The players are under strict restriction not to speak to any journalist,” the source said. “I doubt if your fellow countryman (Akpeyi) will be willing to talk with you. They can only speak through the club’s media platform.”
Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will now represent South Africa in the CAF Champions League next season.
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