Long-serving Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is reportedly in hot water and faces suspension and demotion for alleged misconduct, FARPost can exclusively reveal.
Khune was recently caught arriving for training allegedly under the influence of alcohol. The club has taken a strong stance against the incident and is reportedly taking steps to suspend and demote him.
Khune has been with Amakhosi since the age of 12 and was handed a one-year deal ahead of the start of the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season. This is meant to be his swansong season as he concludes his time as a Chiefs player.
However, his latest transgression could jeopardise his future at the club. Information reaching FARPost is that Khune arrived for training on Wednesday morning, showing signs of someone under the influence of alcohol. He was ordered to undergo tests. The results of the tests reportedly confirmed that Khune was indeed under the influence of alcohol. He was immediately sent home.
Subsequent to that, the club’s management met the former Bafana Bafana goalie and expressed its “extreme disappointment” with his behaviour. They made it clear that his actions were “unacceptable” and that he would face “severe disciplinary action.”
Disciplinary processes are set to continue to determine the sanctions. However, indications are that he could be out of action for weeks and be stripped of the captaincy. The 36-year-old goalkeeper may not play a part as Chiefs take on Moroka Swallows on Sunday. Chiefs lock horns with Swallows at the Dobsonville Stadium [at 3:30 pm].
ITUMELENG KHUNE IN HOT WATER FOR BRANDON PETERSEN REMARKS
Recently, the veteran goalie found himself in the midst of a social media storm after publicly discussing the personal issues of teammate Brandon Petersen. Petersen has had an inconsistent season, and Khune was quoted as saying the club’s psychologist would help the Cape Town-born goalie “rediscover his mental stability”.
“We [players] know what he is going through, and we’re trying to help him,” Khune was quoted as saying by Sunday World.
“Even the club has provided resources for him by bringing in Dr Henning Gericke, who is a psychologist, just to discover what he is going through on and off the field.
“So, they have been having sessions and you could see that Brandon has changed his way of doing things. He is not himself.”
His comments were met with mixed reactions from fans. Some slammed the goalkeeper for his lack of discretion, while others defended him based on his position as club captain. Petersen’s management team formally expressed their disapproval to the club regarding the remarks.
KHUNE ALLEGEDLY REFUSED TO DO INTERVIEWS AT DR MOTAUNG’S HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
Khune is also under fire for allegedly refusing to do an interview at the chairman Dr Kaizer Motaung’s Hall of Fame induction event hosted at Monte Casino. The event took place on November 9 and Khune was asked to do an interview as captain and longest-serving member of the current squad, and he refused.
The legendary shot-stopper boasts an unparalleled 16 consecutive seasons with the club. His trophy cabinet overflows with 13 major accolades. They include the PSL Footballer of the Year 2012/13 and the PSL Players’ Player of the Season in 2007/08 and 2012/13.
CONTRADICTING KAIZER CHIEFS ABOUT HIS FUTURE
The Ventersdorp-born star recently expressed his desire to continue playing beyond the current season. His remarks contradicted the club’s earlier announcement of his impending retirement. In June, Amakhosi declared that this season would mark Khune’s transition into coaching or an ambassadorial role within the club’s marketing department, allowing him to maintain his enduring connection with the club.
“It will depend on my performance on the field. Every player registered in the team is willing to work harder, to compete for a place and give his all for the team with every opportunity they get,” he said.
“There is no difference with me. Whenever I am given an opportunity, I will perform so I can get a new contract. I mentioned at the start of the season that my body can carry me until I am over 40.”
He is determined to emulate the longevity of legendary goalkeepers like Gianluigi Buffon and Essam El-Hadary. The duo excelled as goalies well into their 40s. “If Buffon could do it until he is 45, El-Hadary could do it until 44, who am I at the age of 36 to entertain the fact that someone has an idea that Itumeleng must retire?
“The club might have released a statement, which is well respected. But at the end of the day, I am competing, and I have been playing. It will depend on my performance.
HOW HAS KHUNE FARED IN RECENT TIMES
“Come the end of the season, we will look at the statistics, and what I can still contribute going forward. And that’s where they can make another decision. In the past, goalkeepers have retired only to come out of retirement to compete again. I am playing, and I want to continue competing going forward.”
In the 2022/23 season, he featured in 13 matches, conceding 15 goals in all competitions. He kept two clean sheets against AmaZulu FC [0-0 on 3 September 2022] and Golden Arrows [2-0 on 31 December 2022]. This season, he has featured five times and has conceded six goals.
It is unclear whether Khune will be able to regain the club’s trust and salvage his career. Efforts to get a comment from Khune’s management team and the club were fruitless.