WATCH | 'Bring it home': Nathi Mthethwa rallies behind Chiefs ahead of CAF Champions League final

14 July 2021 - 10:26
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. File image.
Image: Veli Nhlapo Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. File image.

Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has thrown his weight behind Kaizer Chiefs ahead of their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League final.

Amakhosi are set to go face to face with Pitso Mosimane's Al Ahly at the Mohammed V Stadium in Morocco on Saturday.

Sending the team a heartfelt message, Mthethwa said Amakhosi stood a chance to win the match and follow in the footsteps of previous CAF winners Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

“As a nation, we urged the entire team, on and off the field, to dig deep and remain resolute in the mission of completing the successful journey that they started and brought about this very final,” said Mthethwa. 

He said the club's success would bring home much more than just a cup but would offer much-needed positivity in the face of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The special nature of this final is that you are competing against a South African coach and also a South African is at the helm of CAF. In other words, you are a team made out of a fibre-winning nation ... Go for gold and bring it home,” said Mthethwa.

Last week, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi made a special plea to have the whole team vaccinated ahead of the final.

Lesufi said Amakhosi needed to be vaccinated to avoid unforeseen circumstances that could hinder them from representing SA.

“I am making a special plea to have the entire Amakhosi camp Kaizer Chiefs vaccinated so they can be ready to represent the country,” Lesufi wrote on Twitter.

“On the eve of their semifinal match, almost half the team fell victims to Covid-19. We need the entire team to be ready and fit to bring the CAF cup home.”

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane said Amakhosi would go into the final as “underdogs”, a position he is comfortable with.

“We are going there knowing again we will be underdogs, but we have three-and-a-half weeks to prepare thoroughly. We want to thank the Lord and everyone who has been with us through thick and thin and who have helped us to make it this far,” said Zwane.

The match is scheduled to kick off  at 9pm.