Kaizer Chiefs got their 2017/2018 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign underway with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
Following the result, Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela came under a fair bit of criticism after he lambasted the state of the Free State Stadium pitch, describing it as ‘pathetic’. Fans did not take too kindly to the coach’s sentiments as it was seen as Komphela’s way of deflecting interest from the performance.
Nonetheless, despite the criticism, Komphela has defended his stance, stating that it wasn’t an excuse but rather it was just him stating facts.
“I admitted that it was a poor result and it shouldn’t have been,” Komphela was quoted by Independent Media as saying.
“But again, when you are asked a question, are you not going to point at a reality? If realities come across as excuses, you still have to say it. For those who take it as excuses, okay. We’ll have to live with it.
“But those who want to know what exactly happened, you’ll have to be honest with them. You can’t fail to tell them what happened when you know exactly happened for the sake (of being worried that people will say) you are coming up with excuses. As I always say, we always take full responsibility,” he added.
“In fact, let me for the first-time use ‘I’. I take full responsibility (for that draw). There’s no explanation on that.
“But again, are we doing any service to the game (by playing on such a pitch)? People pay their money to go and watch football, and you get a stadium like that one,” Komphela continued.
“I mean, have you ever seen Manchester United play Stoke City at Twickenham (immediately after a rugby match)?
“After rugby has been played, you can’t (immediately) play soccer. Players gave us feedback. When they came back from doing their warm-up, they were saying that the pitch is sticky, and I knew that we had a problem.
“Even before we went to the park for the beginning of the match, I told them to make sure that they have the right boot. If need be, bring a second boot. It’s a problem.
“Do you then keep quiet because you are going to face insults when the truth and reality is there? Say the reality to those who want to know exactly what happened.
“But for those who say that it’s an excuse, I don’t know how to respond to that. You can’t respond to that. But the fact remains, there’s a difference between FNB Stadium and that ground. There’s a huge difference,” he concluded.