BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
ZIMBABWE and Kaizer Chief talismanic forward Khama Billiat is the biggest loser of the coronavirus pandemic period in South African football having lost a massive R8 million in market value since football stopped as a result of the outbreak.
The pandemic has had a telling financial effect on football across the globe with the value of players taking a tumble in this transfer window.
Billiat leads a star-studded cast of players in South Africa’s Absa Premiership, who include teammates Itumelang Khune and Ramahlwe Mpahlele who have seen their value shrink in the past few months.
According to transfermarkt, Billiat is now worth R30 million down from R38 million, recording an R8 million slump.
Khune has also seen his value decrease by R7 million down to R16 million while Mpahlele is now worth R10 million having been valued at R16 million before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Other players to have experienced a massive decrease in their worth are Supersport United’s Aubrey Modiba and Lebohang Maboe who have both shaded off R6 million in market price.
But it is Billiat’s loss in market value that may interest his suitors among them Amakhosi rivals and former paymaster Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sundowns are believed to have rekindled their interest in the Zimbabwean, claims which his agent Mike Ngobeni rubbished last week.
“If there’s any club that wants to buy Khama, they must go to Kaizer Chiefs and buy him. Khama is not free and he has never complained about Chiefs. These are just rumours, he is happy at Chiefs. If someone wants him, they can call me and I will refer them to Chiefs,” Ngobeni told The Citizen.
Pitso Mosimane, the Sundowns coach, is looking to beef up his squad for the Caf Champions League.
The Zimbabwean star is contracted to Amakhosi until June next year, and Chiefs have a one-year option on his contract.
Billiat, who has struggled for form since joining Chiefs last year, remains the most valuable player in the South African league, followed by Sundowns’ Thapelo Morena who is valued at R21 million.
Bidvest Wits’ Thulani Hlatshwayo has a R19 million value, as much as Sifiso Hlati and Themba Zwane who complete the top five.
The South African league is yet to resume, but clubs have started preparations for the competition which is preliminarily scheduled to start by August 1, in a bio-bubble environment in Gauteng.