ABSA Premiership side, Mamelodi Sundowns, have reacted angrily to claims by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare, that the reigning African champions were attempting to stop forward, Khama Billiat, from joining the Warriors squad.
Billiat was called up for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 qualifier against Liberia set for this weekend in Harare having not featured for Sundowns recently due to an ankle injury.
Mpandare recently accused Sundowns of refusing to release Billiat, while ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, threatened to contact both the president of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Danny Jordaan and Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane, over the matter.
Mpandare, according to a report published in NewsDay, also accused Warriors legend and Sundowns team manager, Peter Ndlovu, of blocking Billiat from joining the rest of the squad.
Speaking to Kickoff.com, Sundowns spokesman, Thulani Thuswa, said, “Firstly, I have to make it known that this Wellington Mpandare character is just getting too excited. Is he new in the job?
“In the past, we have always worked well with ZIFA and have respect for both their president and coach.
“We have always enjoyed good relations with ZIFA because we have always had Zimbabwean players at the club and that shouldn’t be spoiled by this Wellington guy,” said Thuswa.
“The truth is that we sent them the doctor’s report and told them that if they want another opinion on Khama’s injury then they can always send him to an independent doctor here in Johannesburg.
“That way they would have been able to verify our doctor’s report which they might have issues with. We have a qualified team doctor and it is not for fun that Khama hasn’t played in the last three games for the club.”
Billiat is now expected in the country today together with Peter Ndlovu to be assessed by Warriors doctors.
“All the same, Khama and Peter are flying to Zimbabwe where Khama will be tested by their own doctors. Khama has an ankle injury and is still recovering, which is why he hasn’t even been kicking a ball at all our training sessions in recent weeks.
“Peter [Ndlovu] has not blocked Khama and we have given them all the reports,” he said.