Billiat bemoans Zim ban’s effect on young players

Khama Billiat

Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Khama Billiat says the ban on participating in international football is not good for young Zimbabwean players, who harbour dreams of playing outside the country.

For the first time in a long time, there were no Zimbabwean players moving to join any South African Premiership team during the current transfer window.

This is due to the ban imposed on Zimbabwe by the Confederation of African Football. Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat says it is having a negative impact on young players who want to move to bigger leagues.

“It plays a big role in football in Zim,” said Billiat. “There are a number of good players who need to play in the national team to get exposure, you know.”

“So, it also… It’s not a nice thing to have good players who deserve to be playing in bigger leagues but because of the exposure they are limited,” he added.

Billiat is one of the players who moved from Zimbabwe at a young age and made a name for themselves in local football. He has played for both Mamelodi Sundowns and Chiefs.

While he enjoyed massive success at Sundowns, things have not been so smooth at Chiefs as he has yet to help the team win any silverware. But it is something he hopes they can get right this season.

“Every season I want to win something. I keep working hard for it, individually and with the team,” he said.

“It is looking good, we are ready for the season. I want to do better than I have ever done before. I always want to improve.”

As Billiat has retired from international football, he believes it gives him more time to focus on his career at Chiefs.

“It always makes it easier. You spend less time travelling (for national team duty) and give you more time to rest and recover. You now left only with the club to focus on, and it helps.

“It was time for me to give other players a chance in the national team,” says Billiat.

 Billiat was in top form on Tuesday evening after registering two assists as Kaizer Chiefs registered their first victory of the season with a 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United.

The 31-year-old threaded a through pass to Ashley Du Preez who took a first-time shot inside the box to open the scoring in the 4th minute.

He got involved in the third goal when he squared the ball to Mduduzi Shabalala who sealed the triumph with a tap-in the stoppage time.

Billiat’s high pressing also forced the keeper to make a failed clearance and the ball fell into the path of Keegan Dolly who found the back of the empty net from a distance for Chiefs’ second goal.

He got two assists on the night and he could have had a third, but Du Preez missed the target.


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