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"We were not wrong and I owe nobody an apology" - Bobby on Chiefs transfer ban

Bobby Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs
(Image credit: Backpagepiz)

Kaizer Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung says the club did nothing wrong when acquiring Malagasy midfielder Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana adding that he does not need to apologies for the resulting transfer ban because it was a political decision.

Chiefs were handed a two-window transfer ban in February 2020 after it was adjudged by world governing body Fifa that the signing of Dax was against the rules as no transfer fee was payed to Fosa Juniors.

The Madagascan club insisted that the player had a valid contract while Chiefs stated that the club was in an amateur league and thus no compensation was required.

The two-window transfer ban means Chiefs will only be able to sign players in July 2021, but Motaung said, in an interview with Thabiso Mosia on Sport on SAfm on Thursday that for Chiefs‚ “there are no regrets” in the handling of the Dax matter‚ in which Fifa’s ruling was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland last month.

Motaung said Confederation of African Football (Caf) politics had influenced the decision against Chiefs‚ naming president of the continental ruling body‚ Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar.

“There’s no regret in that respect. I think people don’t understand sometimes how player negotiations happen‚” he responded.

“And there are in politics in every country and everywhere. And I mean this was a unique a situation where we even appealed. I mean‚ if it was a mistake we would not have even gone for an appeal. We would have realised that even long before.

“We follow processes when we start signing players. So we did follow all the processes. “Unfortunately‚ the politics behind the story of this thing with Dax‚ I could sit here and debate the whole day with people – it was that political.

“And for us‚ we were in a situation where we decided‚ ‘You know what‚ let’s bite the bullet. We still have the club‚ we still have the players. Let’s work with what we have.

“It might be a blessing to some of them players who were not even given a chance last season to raise their hands.

“ ... But the issue of Caf is political‚ my brother‚ it’s very political. To a point where as a club we have decided to move on and soldier on. And look at our challenges‚ and regroup‚ and work with the squad that we respect that has done well for us‚ and move on.

“There’s no regret at all.”

Motaung was asked if‚ when he referred to Caf politics‚ he was referring to Ahmad.

“The Caf president‚ and the [football] association president of Madagascar [Arno Steenkist]‚ who is the club owner of the team of Dax [Fosa Juniors] at the time when they were in an amateur league‚” he said.

“How would I take responsibility? It’s a collective responsibility‚” he added when asked about his role.

“We serve as a collective‚ we work as a collective. We have never won a cup or a league and I say‚ ‘I won the league’.

“It’s a collective. The club worked as a collective to fight this case. So I take responsibility for anything that happens at Chiefs because I am the manager. But it’s a collective.

“I will sit here and respond to them and say: we were not wrong‚ there was nothing wrong that we did.

“I have been doing this thing of signing players for years. It’s not cut and paste where you go into a shop and buy groceries and come out.”

When asked if he owes the supporters an apology as some have suggested, Motaung inisited that he can’t be held responsible and it’s a part of business.

“No‚ we can’t be held responsible or owe an apology. I mean it’s part of the business‚” he said.

“We have signed players before‚ we have lost players before – all the years. I mean it’s been happening for years.

“The only challenge that we are faced with now is that it’s a ban that came up‚ and it’s the first time we face this type of a ban.

“But this challenge has been there football. If we apologise now it means you can’t sign players any more in football. Because there is this challenge that is still going ahead in the future,” he concluded.