12 Mar 2018 20:20pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
WINDHOEK, 12 MAR (NAMPA) Young African chairperson and coach, Maleagi Mali Ngarizemo has confirmed the release of four players from their contracts with immediate effect.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, Ngarizemo said captain Wesley Ballack Katjiteo, Crispen Mbewe, Wawa Kamberipa and Semfried Maharero were let go.
The players are expelled with immediate effect for instigating other players not to train because of late payment of salaries. The late payment was the result of delayed release of our grant by the league, Ngarizemo said.
He added that even after explaining to the players that payment will be delayed, the four continued to influence players to disobey orders from the technical team.
This, he said, was working against the clubs ambitions and target of finishing in the top three in the league.
He said the club had since paid all the players.
As I was paying the players on Friday (09 March), these players came to the office drunk and in the [company] of female companions, and started being unruly, which led to their dismal, said Ngarizemo.
He emphasised that the door was permanently shut for the expelled players, whom he labelled as premier league rejects (Katjiteo and Maharero), following their release by previous employers.
Ngarizemo was of the view that the players had no reason to strike or influence others as he was paying their rent and buying them food all the time.
He further called on the loyal club supporters to continue supporting the club, instead of booing the players as this works against the team.
Those fans who are now turning against us, please kindly stay at home. Do not come to the stadium. Those that have been supporting us at home and away games, please continue doing so, he said.
Responding to the allegations, Katjiteo said the accusations were lies meant to damage his reputation.
I never influenced anyone to stop training. Coach Mali has been doing this for some time now. He even did the same with the national team coach. All I did was to ask for my dues, because I played my part 100 per cent, he elaborated.
Katjiteo added that he was not paid all the money owed to him.
Even after winning the Debmarine [Namibia] cup, we were paid between 5 000 and 6 000 (N.dollars). We were not happy, but decided to continue representing the team 100 per cent.
The midfielder denied being drunk or violent in his engagement with Ngarizemo, saying at their dismissal, Ngarizemo told them the club could not afford them.
My commitment to the team cost me a place in the national team and I also know many other players in the same situation. We are looking at reporting the matter to the players union, said Katjiteo.
Contacted for comment, Namibia Football Players Union secretary general, Olsen Kahiriri said they heard rumours about the issue, but nothing had been reported to their office yet.
Kamberipa, who has not played a single game for the team, was released, according to Ngarizemo, as a way of reducing the wage bill.