Something not right at Kaizer Chiefs, says Lucas Radebe

Former Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe represented South Africa in 70 matches. Photo: BackpagePix

Former Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe represented South Africa in 70 matches. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 14, 2024


Much like Amakhosi supporters this week, South African football legend Lucas Radebe will be watching the Nedbank Cup round of 16 with a degree of interest, but ultimately more with a sense of sadness.

The former Kaizer Chiefs great watched his beloved Glamour Boys lose to bitter rivals Orlando Pirates this past weekend, and a failure to end their 10-year-long wait for silverware brings another wretched barren season nearer to a conclusion.

Chiefs fell at the first hurdle of the Nedbank Cup in late February, suffering a humiliating exit to NFD side Milford – who face Stellenbosch FC tomorrow – in the the round of 32.

Earlier this season, they were also knocked out of the lucrative MTN8 by Mamelodi Sundowns in the semi-finals and then dropped out of the Carling Knockout Cup to AmaZulu after the first round too.

Back-to-back losses this season to cross-town rivals Pirates has further exacerbated the discontent among the Amakhosi faithful, as has a revolving door of coaches.

Post-Covid, the club have seen five managers in four years in the hot seat.

Realistically, Chiefs’ only achievable goal this season is qualifying for pan-African competition by finishing in the top three of the DStv Premiership.

They are seventh in the standings, four points behind third-placed SuperSport United. They are a further 13 points behind runaway log leaders and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Speaking exclusively to Independent Newspapers at the #NoLaysNoGame Uefa Champions League launch event at the Wanderers Sports Club on Tuesday, Rhoo expressed his concerns regarding the current state of the Soweto giants.

“Having played for the club, knowing how big a brand it is and not having won a trophy for 10 years, it is worrying,” said Radebe.

“It is concerning for such a big club that they have just dropped like this. The fact that they are not in the Nedbank Cup is a big disappointment for the fans and for the club.

“This is what a club strives for – winning trophies and bragging rights. It shows the wrongs that are happening at the club, and there is a lot that is happening that we don’t see, which is a huge problem for me.”

Lucas Radebe won three league titles with Kaizer Chiefs in 1989, 1991 and 1992. Photo: BackpagePix

Chiefs were handed another blow to their status earlier this week when Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos announced his squad to play two international friendlies against lowly Andorra and the more formidable Algeria in the upcoming Fifa international window next week.

Only one player from the club – goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma – was selected to tour with the senior men’s national team.

Radebe expressed his full confidence in the selections of the Belgian coach, who recently guided Bafana to a third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Said Radebe: “If you look at the Chiefs team, there are younger stars.

“I wouldn’t say they don’t have quality, but Broos, I respect him a lot, because he did say one thing that I agree with. He looked at Chiefs and he doesn’t think there is anyone there.

“I will echo his sentiments.

“Yes, maybe in the future we will have some of those players in Bafana, but they must mature into the Chiefs jersey first.

“They must realise to wear that jersey and represent Chiefs, it means more than themselves, more than the surname, the badge or the family back at home.

“Once they realise that, they will have earned their worth in wearing that jersey,” he concluded.

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