Bereavement forces Itumeleng Khune out of Kaizer Chiefs' CAF game

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Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
  • Kaizer Chiefs' goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will miss Saturday's CAF Champions League game because of a family bereavement.
  • Khune's sister Mapula died in a fire on Thursday morning.
  • On Thursday, Khune was selected to be part of the 26-man Bafana squad for African Cup of Nations Qualifiers later this month.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt said star goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune won’t be available for Saturday’s CAF Championship League outing against Petro de Luanda at the FNB Stadium. 

Khune has been given compassionate leave after his sister, Mapula Khune, died in a fire on Thursday morning in Ventersdorp.  

Khune was also selected for the 26-man Bafana Bafana squad that’ll take part in two African Cup of Nations Group C qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan. 

The under-pressure Hunt said Khune won’t be playing in the important Group C encounter that Chiefs have to win.  

“It’s a sad time for Itu and his family. He is away and won’t be available for the game. I hope things will get sorted out, but it is a difficult time for him and his family. He won’t be playing on Saturday,” Hunt said. 

On behalf of the club, spokesperson Vina Maphsoa said they had Khune and his family in their thoughts. 

“We send our condolences to Itumeleng Khune and his family. We have mechanisms in place to work with our players when they are faced with challenges. We’ve instituted all of that to support the player and we are with the family during this trying time,” Maphosa said.  

Khune’s absence will force Hunt into a change at the back. With Chiefs on an eight-match winless streak, winning is non-negotiable for Hunt and his charges. 

Hunt said they’ve had issues with selection consistency, but they need to be a better side after losing 4-0 to Wydad Casablanca in their most recent CAF game.  

“The biggest problem we’ve had is the consistency in the selection of the team, which has been out of my hands. Every game has had a change here and there. I think it’ll be the same for Saturday’s game. We haven’t had a settled defence for ages. That doesn’t help you,” Hunt said. 

“There’s no excuse though. We need to be better. We’ve made some huge errors and we need to be better in scoring and not conceding. The conceding of the goals has been a major problem.” 

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