Avatar photo

By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Peeved Zwane responds to Baxter’s backstabbing claims

'And then you come and say the team was going in the other direction and we came and changed it,' said an irritated Zwane

Arthur Zwane has responded to former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter’s remarks that he and his now assistant Dillon Sheppard had worked Baxter out of the job at Naturena. 

ALSO READ: Pirates’ Hotto excited after netting winner against Royal AM

In a Metro FM sports show this week, it was revealed how Baxter had appeared to suggest that Zwane and Sheppard backstabbed him. 

“Uthi simvuthuzile? Usivuthuzile naye… (He is claiming that we brought him down? He also brought us down),” said a visibly irate Zwane in Naturena on Thursday morning. 

“I must admit that I was a little disappointed when I heard that. But to be quite honest, I don’t care. I don’t care simply because we are here in the business of football. 

“And when I listened to what was said on radio, (he said that) the problem started when he was sick. So, if I break it down, he (Baxter) is actually exposing himself because that weekend we played against Swallows and I was (also) sick. 

“Coach Sheppy followed, and when we were supposed to play Cape Town City, I was still recovering and so was Sheppy. 

“When you look at the starting XI that played against Swallows, (Siphosakhe) Ntiya-Ntiya was in the team, Mashiane went in,” explained Zwane. 

“Most of the youngsters played because we already had Covid cases. In the following weekend that number increased and I was one of those who were sick. 

“Just before my first day back at training, we had to play the game because of the pressure from outside to play in terms of the rules. 

“We had to get 11 players and we only had a few. When I arrived at training, we had seven players available and some of them had just recovered from Covid. 

“Fortunately some of the players came back that time and we managed to have 13 players but they were not fit. Some of them were battling and we knew they might not even be able to finish the game. 

“We had to find a starting XI and the team could not balance in terms of the positions. So we had to take players like Njabulo Blom into the middle and start with Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and many other players who were not playing regularly,” explained Zwane. 

Zwane said that when the other players came back, and while they were trying to get their fitness back Baxter called and demanded that they be played. 

“At some point we were told that we needed to play this one and that one, how can you tell people to play so and so who are not ready when you are sitting at home?

“And then you come and say the team was going in the other direction and we came and changed it. But we had to use the players who were available. We played the players who were available and fit.”   

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits