I have nothing but the utmost respect for Komphela‚ says Wits CEO

30 September 2017 - 12:17 By Marc Strydom
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

Jose Ferreira has nothing but “utmost respect” for Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela‚ was all that Bidvest Wits’ CEO would say about a visible post-match disagreement when the two teams met at FNB Stadium on September 16.

Komphela went public in his post-match TV interview after Chiefs’ 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against 10-man Wits inferring that he had been insulted by Clever Boys COO Jonathan Schloss after the final whistle.

Later‚ in the post-match press conference Komphela suggested that his integrity had been brought into question by Schloss while Chiefs’ coach was shaking hands with the referees.

Asked for Wits’ perspective on the incident Ferreira said: “We have deliberately refrained from saying anything to the media.

“We have the utmost respect – myself‚ (Wits director) George Mogotsi‚ Jonathan – everybody has the utmost respect for Steve Komphela.

“Steve Komphela is more than just a colleague in the soccer fraternity. I consider him to be a friend‚ and I’m going to leave it at that.”

In his post-match press conference Komphela had said: “Just after the match‚ walking through the referees‚ it’s our responsibility as coaches‚ whether you lost or won or drew‚ to shake hands and greet.

“I was trying to greet the referees‚ then there was an uproar that‚ ‘Ja‚ you Steve this and that’. But it’s not for the first time.

“I have submitted a report to the coach (Wits coach Gavin Hunt)‚ detailing him about the individual. And I requested the coach to address the individual.”

Chiefs have refused to comment on whether they would take the matter further in the form of an official complaint.

Asked if there had been any such complaint‚ Ferreira would only say: “I have nothing to add.”

In a heated exchange after the match‚ first Komphela and Schloss‚ then Ferreira and Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung‚ were seen exchanging words after the final whistle.

In his television interview‚ saying this was not the first time he had been a target of words by Schloss‚ Komphela referred to Wits’ COO as that “umlungu” (white person).

Defending champions Wits‚ who finally earned their first league win of the season in their sixth game‚ 1-0 against Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday‚ meet Bloemfontein Celtic at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday.

 

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