Kaizer Chiefs have suspended and stripped veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune of his captaincy. This follows a disciplinary hearing that took place last week.
Khune is alleged to have arrived at the club’s training session under the influence of alcohol. He was also ordered to undergo “certain programmes” as part of his punishment.
The agile goalkeeper had been barred from attending training sessions after the incident. The offence happened at the club’s headquarters in Naturena three weeks ago.
Longest serving player
Khune is Chiefs’ longest serving player and a decorated former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper. News of his suspension sent shock waves across the football fraternity.
The 36-year-old has been with Amakhosi since 2004 after he was promoted from the development ranks. On Thursday, Amakhosi released a statement announcing the sanction against Khune.
“At the conclusion of the club’s rigorous disciplinary processes last week, the committee has taken stern action and decided that Itumeleng Khune should be temporarily separated from the team until certain conditions have been fulfilled,” said the team on its website.
“As a club that upholds the highest levels of professionalism, in which discipline forms a key component, Kaizer Chiefs initiated an internal investigation after certain incidents involving Khune came to our attention.
Investigation into misconduct
“The investigation was essential in ensuring the proper functioning and unity within our team. During his absence, Khune will be expected to attend and actively participate in certain programmes. These are designed to support his personal growth and development, with support from the club.
“These programmes are specifically aimed at helping him address challenges and issues he is facing, while promoting a positive team culture.
“The club has taken steps to address his transgressions, and certain sanctions were instituted, including removing him from the club captaincy of Kaizer Chiefs.
“As Kaizer Chiefs, we believe in applying corrective measures to achieve personal growth. And we are committed to providing the necessary support to Itumeleng during this period.
“Once he has completed the required programmes and met the set expectations, he will be welcomed back into the team.
Pursuit of excellence
“The team remains focused on the upcoming fixtures and the continued pursuit of excellence. We have full confidence in our players and coaching staff to maintain our high standards and achieve success in Khune’s absence.
“Kaizer Chiefs would like to assure everyone, including our supporters, that we remain committed to our core values of discipline, integrity, respect, and unity.
“We appreciate the unwavering support of our loyal supporters and encourage them to stand together with us as we navigate through this challenging phase,” read the statement.