The Disappointing Tale Of Khama Billiat At Kaizer Chiefs
Ahead of the 2022-23 season, Khama Billiat had high hopes of making a mark in the Soweto Derby on February 23, the biggest fixture in South African football.
However, his dreams were dashed after being sidelined with a season-ending injury, forcing him to watch from the stands.
With his contract expiring during the off-season, it remains to be seen whether Kaizer Chiefs will extend his contract given his injury record, middling performances this term, and high salary. As the club undergoes a major overhaul, tying up salary in a player whose prime years may be behind him may not make sense.
In an alternate reality, perhaps we would be anticipating the upcoming match on Saturday as a chance for Khama Billiat to demonstrate to Bobby Motaung and the club’s decision-makers that he remains a crucial contributor to the team’s future, regardless of whether or not Arthur Zwane remains as head coach.
Instead, yet another significant opportunity has slipped away from Khama Billiat, who has been struggling to replicate his past glory days with Mamelodi Sundowns. Billiat was once a key figure for the Brazilians during his prime years, winning league titles, the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, and Caf Champions League glory in 2016.
However, it’s worth noting that Billiat didn’t have a significant impact on the Caf CL final first leg against SC Zamalek, which Sundowns eventually won. He was substituted on the hour mark, having been marked out of the game.
Despite winning the PSL Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards in 2016, Billiat’s proposed move to Europe never materialized. Furthermore, due to increasing injury concerns, he left Sundowns to play for another PSL team.
When Khama Billiat signed for Kaizer Chiefs in 2018, it was seen as a potential game-changer for the club’s fortunes, but as he prepares to leave, he does so without any major silverware to his name.
Despite showing flashes of brilliance, he has failed to replicate the form he displayed during his prime years with Mamelodi Sundowns, and his time at Chiefs coincided with a significant period of upheaval and transition for the club.
Although he played a key role in his first campaign, contributing to 21 goals in all competitions, his subsequent performances have been inconsistent, and he has struggled to meet the expectations of fans and coaches alike.
As he leaves the club, amid rumors of dissatisfaction with head coach Arthur Zwane, it is difficult to argue that Billiat has been anything other than a flop at Naturena. Although he was once a star of the South African Premier Soccer League, his departure from Chiefs raises questions about whether his career in the country is drawing to a close.