Khama Billiat’s youth coaches speak out after age cheating accusations. Billiat’s poor form at an equally struggling Kaizer Chiefs lately saw outspoken South African coach Mlungisi ‘Professor’ Ngubane claiming the Zimbabwean might have joined the Absa Premiership with a reduced age.
Khama Billiat’s developmental coach Expense Chitukutuku has described allegations that the player might have tampered with his age as ‘unfortunate and disrespectful’. Professor’s comments got the attention of the media but have since been dismissed by Aces Youth Soccer Academy (AYSA) coaches Chitukutuku (then) and Gift Kagogoda who groomed Billiat.
Chitukutuku, who was the coach at AYSA then, said it is time Zimbabwean football stakeholders come out to support Billiat. He said Professor’s comments should be dismissed with the condemnation it deserves.
“Those are unfortunate and disrespectful comments filled with hate. They can say whatever they want about Khama (Billiat) but not to the extent of saying he age cheated.
“I think we will be unfair to the boy if we are to remain silent as people who nurtured him. I took Billiat at Gwinyiro Primary School in Mufakose at a U13 tournament, he was around Grade 5.
“So Khama is among the young boys I identified and when I enquired about his age, I got a birth certificate from the school caretaker who was training the school team. I remember very well, the other guys included Norest Mukwezvaramba and Honey Chimutimunzeve all born in 1988 and Khama (1990) was the youngest,” said Chitukutuku. The former Dynamos assistant coach said Billiat is more of his son and has accurate information in as far as his age is concerned.
Chitukutuku recounts some of the incidents when he used to travel to pick Billiat for training at AYSA after school. “I know this boy very well because I got sight of his birthday while he was still a young boy. We used to train at Lord Malvern during those days and issued to go and pick some of the boys for training.
“I remember very well that I used to carry Khama on my back while crossing a narrow makeshift bridge from Highfield to Zindoga because he was a young boy. I trained the boy, monitored him, traveled with him to Switzerland,” he said.
The coach said Billiat had no reason to tamper with his age. “Khama had no reason to change his age. In fact, we all wanted him to grow fast. I was monitoring the player on his way to CAPS United and his eventual move to Ajax Cape Town.
“This is the same generation with the likes of Knowledge Musona and George Chigova,” he said. Another coach Kagogoda, known as Bla Rebel, told H-Metro that all attention was on Billiat when he joined because he was the youngest.
“Khama Billiat’s age is genuine. That is his real age, I was one of his coaches when he came in as a boy and it’s so unfortunate that there are people who just want to soil his name.
“When he came in at Lord Malvern, where we used to train, concerns were raised that he is still young. I saw his documents until he attained a passport with no reasons for him to reduce his age,” said Bla Rebel.
Source – H-Metro
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