South Africa football legend refutes retirement rumors amidst farewell confusion

South Africa football legend refutes retirement rumors amidst farewell confusion

Festus Chuma 16:00 - 19.05.2024

The veteran goalkeeper has clarified his future refuting retirement rumors and emphasizing his commitment to continue playing for the club.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has strongly refuted claims of his imminent retirement insisting that his journey with the club is far from over.

This comes after Saturday's events, where the club honoured Khune for his remarkable 25 years of service ahead of Chiefs’ goalless draw with Polokwane City. 

The tribute, which saw the former captain come off the bench for the final 15 minutes, sparked widespread speculation about his future.

Khune, 36, clarified the situation in an interview with SuperSport TV’s Lerato Phago, emphasizing that the occasion was not a farewell but a celebration of his longstanding contribution to the club. 

“This journey is still long.We’re still going to see each other, we’re still going to travel together, as much as we have been traveling it and I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me," he said.

The veteran goalkeeper was adamant about his intentions to continue playing.

 “It’s not a farewell. The club made it clear that they are honouring me for 25 years of service. They didn’t say ‘we’re bidding farewell to Itumeleng Khune’. I think we will go back, sit down and discuss the future. But for now, nothing has been confirmed yet," he added.

Khune’s insistence that he still has much to offer is underscored by his unwavering confidence in his physical capabilities. 

“My legs can still carry me for the next couple of years, so I will continue giving my all whenever given the opportunity to don the black and gold jersey of Kaizer Chiefs,” he declared.

Despite Khune’s optimistic outlook, the situation remains shrouded in controversy. 

His current contract with Chiefs is nearing its end, and the club had announced ahead of the 2023/24 season that this would be his last as a player before transitioning into a different role within the organization. 

This announcement, coupled with Saturday’s tribute, led many to believe that Khune’s playing days were numbered.

A stalwart of South African football, he has been a pillar of strength for Kaizer Chiefs for over two decades. 

Arriving as a youngster from Ventersdorp, North West, in 1999, Khune’s exceptional goalkeeping skills and leadership on and off the field quickly became apparent. 

He spent five years in the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy before being promoted to the senior team at the start of the 2004/05 season.

Currently, in his record-setting 20th season with the senior team, Khune’s legacy at Kaizer Chiefs is firmly established. 

However, the ambiguity surrounding his future has fans and pundits alike questioning what lies ahead for the iconic goalkeeper.

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