Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has likened tonight’s Absa Premiership clash where they host Polokwane City behind closed doors at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to a funeral.
The Italian mentor said playing football when no one is watching is meaningless and takes all the fun out of it.
But Amakhosi have to adhere to the punishment meted out to them by the Premier Soccer League’s Disciplinary Committee which ordered that they play two games in Durban without any supporters following the rioting, looting and vandalism which happened at the same venue in May after the side were knocked out of the Nedbank Cup.
Solinas said playing City would have naturally been difficult as they have been industrious in their displays under new coach Josef Vukusic but not having their fans there makes it even tougher.
“It’s a difficult game for us,” said Solinas after he was conferred with the Coach-of-the- Month award for September on Thursday.
“In my opinion football without the supporters is no good. It is a funeral … it is a funeral because the fans create the atmosphere needed for playing football. The fans push the players and give them the energy to play better.
“The supporters are very important. This game is very important for us. Polokwane are a good team and playing against them without our supporters is a big disadvantage for us. So this is unbelievable. Playing without our fans will be difficult.
“But we will try to win the game for our fans because that is what they deserve,” said Solinas.
Chiefs go into this match on the back of a disappointing goalless draw they were forced into by a resilient Highlands Park on Tuesday night. It was however not for a lack of effort that the midweek match ended without any goals from Solinas’ side who were clinical last month in scoring eight in three games.
But they will have to dig even deeper against Rise and Shine who have been industrious as they showed in a hard-fought 1-0 win with 10 men at leaders Bidvest Wits two weeks ago.
Solinas will hope Khama Billiat, Dumisani Zuma, Gustavo Paez and Lebogang Manyama will rise to the occasion tonight and earn him the three points.
But by the same token he will hope his defenders are alert to the danger posed by Rise and Shine’s Jabulani Maluleke and Rodney Ramagalela.