JOHANNESBURG. — Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat has explained his release to the Warriors team despite fitness concerns. Billiat turned out for Zimbabwe in their must-win 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Somalia on Tuesday despite having been declared injured with a “knock to his pelvic bone” by Chiefs on September 2.
It was further stated by the club that the 29-year-old would require “between 10 and 14 days” to recover before he would be ready to return to action.
However, eight days later, the diminutive attacker not only acceded the emergency call by the Warriors, but in fact saw out the entire fixture, going so far as to score the winning goal beyond the 90-minute mark that ultimately ensured their progression to the next round.
This seemed to have upset coach Ernst Middendorp, who raised questions to the media as to whether the player made a “responsible” decision to exert himself to such an extent after just recently being side-lined.
Billiat was, however, given an opportunity to clear the air by the club as he explained the situation on their official website on Thursday evening.
“I wish to thank the club for acceding to the call up. As you know I was nursing an injury, but the club and the national team management agreed to my release,” explained Billiat.
“We thought the match would provide a good platform to test my recovery. “I feel great. I just did my regeneration this morning, and I am ready to play a role against (Polokwane) City.
“I am looking forward to it.”
On the match itself, he touched on how much it meant to be part of the team and going on to help them in their quest towards a potential maiden World Cup appearance.
“We knew it was going to be a tough one. This was a must-win for us. We started slowly, but I think we were anxious about the deficit,” he added.
“But at the end I am happy, and the Zimbabweans are happy we won.
“Nothing comes close to representing the nation, especially if you consider the situation that we found ourselves in.” — KickOff.com