Kaizer Chiefs denied training in Luanda ahead of Primeiro Agosto showdown

Lazarous Kambole of Kaizer Chiefs against Primeiro de Agosto, December 2020
The Soweto giants had planned to have two training sessions in Angola but were limited to just one

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt says they have been subjected to a “disconcerting” situation by their hosts ahead of Tuesday’s Caf Champions League first round, second leg clash against Primeiro Agosto at 11 November Stadium.

After landing in Luanda on Sunday, Amakhosi planned to hold their first training session but were barred by Angola’s Ministry of Health.

This is despite negative coronavirus results from tests conducted upon arrival, having also produced other negative readings from tests done in South Africa.

The club says they were “locked in the hotel under heavy supervision” to make sure that they will not sneak out for training. 

But Hunt says they are undeterred by the disruption as they finally managed to have a workout at the match venue on Monday.

“We would have liked to train on Sunday, but we were not allowed,” Hunt told the Chiefs website.

“We did a bit of preparation in South Africa so the restrictions here in Luanda won’t affect us much. The situation is a bit disconcerting but that’s what you should expect when you play in this competition, so we need to be brave and play positively and hopefully score that important away goal.”

Angola has closed its borders to travellers from Australia, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK due to the Covid-19 variant that has driven a new wave of infections in those countries.

This has seen Orlando Pirates’ Caf Confederation Cup opponents Sagrada Esperanca, also from Angola, refusing to travel to South Africa for a first round, second leg match before subsequently pulling out of the tournament.

Chiefs have, however, been handed an exception which saw them being allowed entry into Angola.

After Chiefs and Agosto played to a 0-0 in the first let at FNB Stadium, a scoring draw would fire Amakhosi into the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history.

Article continues below

Hunt has emphasised on taking an early lead to unsettle their opponents and he also says they will not be throwing striker Samir Nurkovic into the deep end as the Serb has just returned from a long injury lay-off.

“We expect Primeiro de Agosto to be a different side when they play at home, but we need to create chances and get that important away goal as quickly as we can,” said Hunt.

“It’s a big plus having Samir Nurkovic back from injury but he’s not very fit and hopefully we can get him up to speed as soon as we can. We should be careful about putting all the pressure on him, but slowly he will get back to his best.”