Ernst refuses to handle Downs' trophy


Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has explained his refusal to touch the Absa Premiership trophy during their Soweto Derby pre-match media briefing.

Chiefs meet Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership Soweto Derby on Saturday as they look as possibly stretching their lead at the top of the log standings.

READ: Pre-Derby update on Amakhosi favourite

Amakhosi currently enjoy a seven-point gap between themselves and second-placed Sundowns, with Bidvest Wits a further 10 points back but having four games in hand.

Upon concluding the pre-match pleasantries, the two coaches were requested for a photo opportunity alongside the championship trophy, with Middendorp hesitant to touch it.

Asked what the reason therefor was, the German outlined his belief that the privilege belongs solely to the deserved holders.

“Why should I handle the trophy? Is it nice or whatever? I don’t know actually, it’s that I leave it, respect it in a way that if I have it in the end of the season then I can touch it for the next 12 months,” explained Middendorp.

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“It’s not [a superstition], it’s just to show respect that this trophy currently belongs to Mamelodi Sundowns and that’s it. It’s just my opinion, if you ask me.”

Middendorp has never tasted league success in the PSL, with his highest finish in the Premiership coming back in the 2005/06 season, when he ended in third position – seven points behind The Brazilians, who won the title with 57 points from 30 games.

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