Carling Black Label Brand Director Arné Rust has explained that there was a miscommunication between the PSL, Kaizer Chiefs and themselves as Carling Black Label Cup organisers regarding the participation of Itumeleng Khune in the PSL All-Star team.
Khune received the most votes from fans for the All-Star side that will face Carling Knockout Cup winners Stellenbosch FC in the Black Label Cup at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The goalkeeper was suspended from all football activities by his club in early December 2023 for misconduct after allegations that the former Bafana Bafana international had arrived for training under the influence of alcohol.
Just before Christmas Carling had released an XI without Khune, only for him to return when they confirmed the “official” selection, which resulted in Chiefs releasing a statement that Khune was still suspended and ineligible for selection.
However, that statement has since been deleted and iDiski Times was informed that it was published by error, with the former Amakhosi captain reinstated in the line-up.
Talking to iDiski Times in Polokwane on Thursday, Rust has cleared up the air about the Khune situation.
“I think there was a slight miscommunication between us, the PSL and Kaizer Chiefs where he was always eligible to play in the Carling Black Label Cup, even though he was on suspension from Kaizer Chiefs,” Rust said.
“So that was just a moment of many different things happening at the same time but we are very happy that Khune is here and representing.
“I think there are two points there, [one] is that he has played in every single Carling Cup for the last 10 years and if I have to think back where I was in 10 years ago that’s a lifetime.
“And the second one is that if we look at Diski [DDC] players who have been included, it’s fantastic for them as well. Not only to meet their heroes but to learn from them, to take some of the things that Itu has been able to learn or the school fees that he’s been able to pay over a very long and distinguished career and to pass some of that on to the up and coming Diski players.”
Meanwhile, the organisers and hosts, the City of Polokwane announced that at least 15,000 tickets have been sold by Thursday morning for Saturday’s event.