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Katsande denies Warriors cop-out


New Kaizer Chiefs deal up to 2017 ... Willard Katsande with his coach Stuart Baxter

21/05/2014 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Still committed to the Warriors ... Willard Katsande
 
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KAIZER Chiefs' tough tackling defensive link-man, Willard Katsande, has denied media reports that he snubbed national duty in order to attend an awards event in South Africa saying he was unwell and remains on medication.

Media reports suggested Katsande snubbed Warriors coach Ian Gorowa after being called for Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier first round, first leg tie away to Tanzania.

It was claimed that the player, who had a stellar season at his club, copped out of national duty in order to attend an end of year awards event in South Africa on Sunday.

He had been nominated and was widely tipped to win the Player of the Season and Players Player of the Year awards.

But Katsande denied the allegations in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

“I love my country and it will always come first. People should not judge me with these media reports; I am not a bad person,” he said.

National team coach Ian Gorowa did not hide his disappointment with the Kaizer Chiefs man.

“Katsande, we don’t know where he is. He was supposed to be here. We called him up but it’s something that we need to discuss as a technical team,” Gorowa said.

“When I spoke to his manager at Kaizer Chiefs he assured me that Katsande would be available but he is not here. I think football has to go on.”

Katsande however insisted he never refused to play.

“I never refused to play for the national team but I had a stomach infection. I am still on medication until Friday,” he said.

“I also sent my medical certificate to ZIFA and I am prepared to present it to anyone who wants to see it. I am looking forward to playing for the team in future and will give 100 percent commitment to that.''

He said he did not need to personally attended the awards ceremony and could have asked his wife or club official to represent him if necessary.

As it turned out, he did not win even a single award at the event.

''I am not bitter that I did not win. I am proud that I was nominated among the best three in the PSL. I congratulated the winner and I knew we could not all win, in the end there was going to be one winner,'' he said.



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Chiefs also lost the league title to Mamelodi Sundowns but Katsande said they were not disappointed and had now turned their attention to winning the MTN 8 Cup.

The player also spoke of his admiration for his 59 year mother, revealing she was the main inspiration for his success on the field. His father died when he was just 9, and his mother had to raise the family all by herself by selling vegetables.

“My mother is my heroin,” he said.

“When I go into the pitch when she is happy, I give 100 percent performance. My mother, who was not educated, worked hard selling vegetables and bought me soccer boots.

“We had no bread winner but she worked hard to put food on the table while growing up in Mutare.''

Katsande has bought a house for his  mother in Mutare and a herd of cattle but still feels he could never thank her enough for the sacrifices she made for the family.

He is now committed to Chiefs, having renewed his contract until 2017.





 
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