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Wits official dismisses idea club does not take Caf competitions seriously

02 August 2017 - 12:44 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Coach Gavin Hunt of Wits with CEO Jose Ferreira and George Mokgotsi of Wits during the Bidvest Wits press conference and kit launch at Wits Sports Conference Centre, Sturrock Park on August 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Coach Gavin Hunt of Wits with CEO Jose Ferreira and George Mokgotsi of Wits during the Bidvest Wits press conference and kit launch at Wits Sports Conference Centre, Sturrock Park on August 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

Bidvest Wits chief executive Jose Ferreira has angrily dismissed suggestions that the club does not Caf competitions seriously.

The Clever Boys have often been accused of fielding fringe players in continental competitions and this criticism has not down very well with the club's officials.

Ferreira said the criticism is unfair because they have always respected the tournament.

He said they will show their commitment when they represent South Africa in the event next year after winning the domestic league title this year.

“We will keep on giving it a go like we always had in the past by fielding our first team‚ unlike other teams who play with their fringe players but don’t get accused of not taking the tournament seriously‚” Ferreira said.

Egyptians Al Ahly dumped the Clever Boys out of the Champions League in the second round stage last season.

“It’s unfair criticism.

"I want to give you an example‚ in February‚ March and April‚ Mamelodi Sundowns‚ SuperSport United‚ Platinum Stars and us were all playing in the Caf competitions knockout stages.

"Look at their line-ups and tell me who played their first team and who didn’t?

"Who took the competition seriously and who played their fringe players?

"Not one of them played their first teams but we did and we still got hammered by the press‚” he said.

“Last season was a pity because we came across Al Ahly just before the group stages and we lost 1-0 on aggregate.

"If you remember about three years ago‚ we played against a team from Swaziland and won 3-0 here at home with a fringe team.

"That’s when players like Phakamani Mahlambi were coming through the system and so forth.

"We took the very exact team to Swaziland on the return leg‚ lost 3-0 and the press killed us.

"Which is not fair because it was the very same team that played at home and won handsomely‚” he said.

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