News Live Scores
Kaizer Chiefs

Covid-19 saga: Baxter holds on to the only hope Kaizer Chiefs can catch Mamelodi Sundowns

09:27 GMT 03/02/2022
Stuart Baxter, head coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
The experienced British tactician feels Amakhosi could be the team to catch Masandawana if they are not punished with walkover results

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter is hoping for a favourable ruling in their case against the Premier Soccer League as they look to catch Mamelodi Sundowns.

Last month, Amakhosi were charged by the PSL Disciplinary Committee for failing to honour two league fixtures in December 2021 after a debilitating Covid-19 outbreak at their headquarters in Naturena, Johannesburg which resulted in 36 positive cases.

However, Chiefs appealed, pleading for the case to go for arbitration and they are now hoping that the decision made by the independent arbitrator will allow them to play the matches that they forfeited. 

Baxter urged the PSL to look at how other leagues have adopted their rules regarding Covid-19 and gave an example of the Premier League which has come up with an agreement that allows matches to be postponed due to the coronavirus cases in a club's camp.

“Global football has been suffering. What I would say is that many leagues have been learning this as they are going along," Baxter told the media. 

"They have made a ruling and they’ve realised that we’ve got to be more flexible than that. I would just hope - although I realise there’s arbitration and all these things and I can’t say much - that would be what comes out this year. 

"So, that we can move along with the knowledge that we have with the situation [and its challenges]. I don’t think there’s anybody in the Premier League that has had near what we had," he explained. 

"But there have been clubs that have had their matches postponed and rearranged. So, I hope we get to that point. But I won’t use that as an excuse."

Chiefs are currently placed fourth on the league standings - 16 points behind leaders, Sundowns, but the former have two games in hand as things stand.

Baxter admitted that if his side is found guilty during arbitration and they are hit with a six-point deduction for failure to honour the two games, their hopes of challenging for the PSL title will diminish.

“But it would have been absolutely nice to have played those games and to be able to try to exact a little bit more pressure on Sundowns, because at the moment they’re playing with no one breathing down their necks,” he added. 

“We potentially – and it is a hypothetical question because we’d have to play the games – but we potentially could have been the ones to do that.”