Nyasa Big Bullets have defended the firing of three technical panel members—assistant coach Mabvuto Lungu, team manager Rahim Ishmael and goalkeeper trainer Swadick Sanudi—saying there are serious disciplinary issues.
The club’s chairperson Noel Lipipa was justifying the decision to fire the trio with barely two games before they wind up the 2016 season.
“This issue dates back to a couple of months ago when the current executive committee had just been ushered in.
“There were serious allegations that were levelled against some members of the technical panel, including demanding kickbacks from the players in return for game time, failure to account for deducted allowances, undermining the authority of the head coach [Lloyd Nkhwazi] and negative attitude towards some players
“When I got these reports sometime back, I did not act, instead I engaged the technical panel members individually and asked them to change their conduct. But a meeting which I had with the players yesterday [Wednesday] exposed and confirmed the rot that has been there behind the scenes and we had to act,” he said.
Lipipa said he was surprised to learn that the players had refused to train after they were told by one of the technical committee members that the executive had instructed that only those that featured in the Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza would receive appearance fees for the game.
He said: “This was in contrast to what the executive had agreed that all the registered players should get the appearance fees. Our assumption, therefore, was that this technical member was up to something fishy because when he was confronted, he failed to defend himself.
“It was also during the same meeting that the other accusations were raised.”
To that effect, the Bullets boss said the trio has been relieved of its duties and will be paid a month’s salary each in accordance with their contracts.
Lungu said he could not comment on the issue as he was yet to get official communication about his dismissal.
“It is difficult for me to say anything at this stage because I haven’t received any official communication,” he said.
On his part, Ishmael also said he was yet to be communicated to officially.
“I have heard about it, but I have not been communicated. What reasons are they giving for [our] removal?…anyway all I can say is that the Almighty God should forgive them,” he said.
Sanudi could not be reached for comment.
The People’s Team has since announced that Kananji will double as team manager and assistant to Nkhwazi for the remaining games.
This was after the players expressed their reservations with an earlier decision to appoint James Chilapondwa and Chiku Kanyenda as team manager and assistant team manager respectively. n