An ugly altercation has recently transpired between Mochudi Centre Chiefs (MCC)’s care taker coach, Itumeleng Duiker and the management of the team.
Just last week, allegations surfaced that Duiker was dismissed from work but MCC management wasted no time and refuted the claims. Duiker has however, when approached this week, accused MCC management of lying to the nation.“I hear they are denying but I can assure you that they informally broke the news to me last week. I have actually been away since Wednesday. My relationship with the team Manager, Zaahid Jalal had reached a boiling point,” Duiker said this week.
Duiker lamented that Jalal was always stepping on his toes and even going to the extent of deciding his first eleven. He claims that Jalal fired and signed new players without even consulting him. Duiker felt disrespected and found it hard to play the game that he, as coach, wanted. “I told him that I will not operate according to his terms, I am open for suggestions but the final word should be mine because they have my name out there as coach. When we are not performing, I get the entire lashing from supporters, not him,” a seething Duiker said.
Nevertheless, Duiker said the reason why there is confusion is because Jalal took the decision to unilaterally cut him off and other team officials are not happy. It is even tricky because he was not given a dismissal letter. He shares that he had nothing but love for MCC, having found it in a sorry state and was trying to rebuild the players’ confidence. Evidently enough, when the league resumed from the festive break, MCC had seemed to have revamped, going five games without a loss and moving from bottom placed to their current 14th position. “Many had given up on the team, even Jalal when I arrived he was in charge of the gate takings. Now he has returned and barking instructions left right and centre, only because he saw light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Duiker is also accusing MCC of playing hide and seek with his dues. The seemingly frustrated coach said that Jalal and club Chairman Raymond Tsheko were supposed to meet him last week but as of this past Monday, they were giving him excuses.“He is lying, we were supposed to meet him on Thursday yes, but because of other commitments the meeting did not materialize but I have told him that we will meet this week,” Tsheko said.
Tsheko explained that they have not dismissed Duiker instead his role as care -taker coach has lapsed. “We only told him that the management has taken a decision to retain him as an assistant and not hire him as coach because a new coach will soon take over, there is no dismissal letter,” Tsheko defended.
The Chairman of the Kgatleng based team said that Duiker could not continue giving instructions to the team because as per employment act, he only has to act on the instructions given to him by his boss, being the team head coach to be appointed. Quizzed why MCC was quick to remove Duiker from his position even though they have not come out to name a new coach yet, Tsheko answered to say their decision was well calculated and was not haphazard, “I beg that we be respected on our decision because there is reason to it, even supporters should rest assured that we acted on the great benefit of the team,” he said. He said that if things go well they will name their new head coach this week.
Meanwhile, when reached Jalal said he does not want to comment on his alleged bittersweet relationship with Duiker. However, he maintained that Duiker has not been dismissed and he is still their assistant coach.
FUROR OVER BPL FIXTURES
The BTC Premiership league was this Tuesday thrown into chaos over a fixture between reigning champions Township Rollers and Serowe’s Miscellaneous scheduled for Gaborone.
By Tuesday evening, Miscellaneous Football Club (FC) were still over 370km away in Serowe ahead of their scheduled game against Township Rollers in the Capital city at 1900hrs. By press time, Miscellaneous had confirmed that they would not be honoring their game against Rollers, decrying lack of funds to finance the cross-country trip to Gaborone. The Serowe outfit argued that the fixture was on short notice, which was unfair on their part. According to the Club spokesperson Edwin Ntau, they could not acquire funds for the doomed trip. “If we do arrive in Gaborone on Tuesday evening, that game will be a disaster because we are not ready for it. Botswana Premier League (BPL) is not serious and insulting the sponsor, “a seething Ntau said before cancelling the trip.
Earlier on Tuesday Miscellaneous expressed unhappiness with the Botswana Premier League (BPL) over the change of fixtures last week Thursday. Initially, Miscellaneous says it was to play Notwane in Serowe but to their greatest shock they were suddenly pitted against the defending champions, Rollers in Gaborone. They had now lost home ground advantage and had to travel all the way to Gaborone for the difficult encounter. Ntau questioned the judgement fairness of the BPL following the surprising turn of events.
Ntau claims that they saw the amendments of fixtures communicated on social media and when they questioned BPL CEO, Thabo Ntshinogang and his team, they were assured that they will play Notwane at Serowe Sports Complex. “We were shocked that on Monday the same fixtures of us playing Rollers were still circulating around and when we wrote to BPL, we were told to honour the Tuesday game or there would be consequences,” Ntau said.
Playing Rollers in Gaborone would have meant Miscelleneous played three away games in a row, a sequence of events that would definitely hurt their pockets.Rollers on the other hand, through the club spokesperson, Bafana Pheto said they were equally shocked and not at all happy with BPL. “When we plan, we plan for a certain team and it does not help that nobody is telling us what necessitated the need to change the fixtures,” a baffled Pheto said this week.
It is not clear why the Gaborone United and Rollers game had to be changed from all the games that had to be played in week 23. “Why us, what reasons are there to change the game, we were supposed to play Miscellaneous in Week 30, why drag it to week 23,” he questioned.
Notwane FC chairman, Phillip Tiroyamodimo also said that they wrote back to BPL questioning why they had to change the team they were supposed to play and not only the dates as with other teams but BPL has not bothered to respond. For his part, Boitumelo Nsunge, Chairman of Gaborone United said that they returned from the Mascom Top 8 finals knowing well that they are playing Rollers and were surprised to be given a letter this past Monday instructing them to play Notwane on Thursday.
When responding to the matter, Ntshinogang said that according to their ‘amended’ fixtures, Gaborone United and Township Rollers were not scheduled in week 23. With that, they had to slot them in week 23 given that the senior national team has to prepare for the CAF African Championship of Nations (CHAN) tournament to be played next weekend. With that, there will be no league games played this coming weekend.
However, it remains unclear as to why all the four teams appear to have a copy of fixtures totally different from that of BPL. While Ntshinogang said GU and Rollers had no schedule in week 23, majority believe that GU was to play Rollers and Miscellaneous against Notwane. Ntshinogang went on to say that all clubs were informed of the changes last week Thursday and they expect Miscellaneous to honour the Tuesday game.
CENTRE CHIEFS FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL
Tonight at Molepolole Sports Complex, Mochudi Centre Chiefs (MCC) will be given another chance to prove if they have successfully pulled out of the BTC Premiership league relegation zone.
Following months of the relegation threat, the Kgatleng giants managed a limp out of the hot zone a week ago when they collected maximum points against BDF XI.When they play BR Highlanders under floodlights tonight, MCC will need to make a statement; whether they are still skating on thin ice or if the dark clouds have cleared. With only eight games left before the season ends, there is no telling what the future holds for MCC.
While a few years ago, MCC had established themselves as premier league giants and arch rivals to defending champions, Township Rollers, dwindling fortunes have since been causing anxiety at MCC. Even relative league newcomers have come out to humiliate the once mighty Chiefs. Magosi are expected to trot into today’s match without a head coach but instead team General Manager, Jalal Zaahid has been asked to step in temporarily.
This comes after the caretaker coach, Itumeleng Duiker was informed by team management that he will not be coach but can only be on the bench. It is still not yet clear if the new coach will ever come given that the 2018/2019 season is nearing a conclusion. However, the club chairman Raymond Tsheko has since made assurances that the new coach is on his way. Meanwhile, Mahalapye outfit BR Highlanders, is in no position to pull out the sympathy card as they cannot afford to be comfortable, only six points separates them from 13th placed MCC. BR Highlanders, Coach Blessing Moyo knows better that he cannot afford to return to the dusty grounds when he was only promoted this season.
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