In a dramatic twist to the Tony Chitsulo transfer saga, the diminutive forward is set to return to Silver Strikers after a rather frustrating season with Mighty Wanderers FC.
The Bankers claim Chitsulo contacted them last week and requested to return to his former club.
Said Silver’s chairperson McDonald Mafuta-Mwale: “What happened was that the boy contacted the coaches and asked if he could be allowed to return and after discussions, he was sent to us [executive committee].
“According to him [Chitsulo], he realised that the manner in which he left was wrong and that he made a mistake to join Wanderers. So, we accepted his apology and decided to give him another chance.”
Mafuta-Mwale added that the 2009 Super League Golden Boot Award winner is still their player following Wanderers’ failure to pay the K1.95 million transfer fee.
“We just need to formalise his return. Otherwise, he is still our player because Wanderers did not pay the agreed transfer fee,” said Mafuta-Mwale.
He said they are expecting the 21-year-old striker to return to the capital this week.
Efforts to get hold of the player proved futile yesterday, but Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda said Chitsulo is still their player and if Silver are interested in taking him back, they should make an offer.
“We have developed the player during the time that he has been with us and we have a contract with him, but we do not have a problem if they want him back, we can resale him,” said Kanyenda.
Asked why Silver should pay for Chitsulo when they (Wanderers) failed to pay the agreed fee, Kanyenda said: “It was not our fault that we did not pay them, it was because they [Silver] tried to shift goalposts.
“We issued a cheque on a Friday and the player was dully cleared by Sulom, but surprisingly, the following day, Silver asked Sulom not to allow us to feature the player, arguing that we should wait for the cheque to be cleared. However, we went on to field him because he had already been cleared.”
Kanyenda further claimed that push came to shove when Silver allegedly connived with Bullets to ask Sulom to have the Nomads lose their game against Bullets on the basis that they had featured Chitsulo illegally.
Silver general secretary Mike Tembo laughed off Kanyenda’s claims, saying: “How can we buy our own player? They never paid a penny out of the agreed fee. In any case, we are just trying to help the boy to put his career back on track after the administrative wrangles kept him out for the entire season.”
Sulom president Innocent Bottoman also said the Nomads have no right to claim to own the player.
“The issue is that Wanderers were wrong to issue a cheque when they knew there was no money in their account and it is only right and proper that the player returns to Silver because the deal fell through,” said Bottoman.
Chitsulo’s saga seemed to be headed for a listless conclusion last season when Silver sought a court order to freeze all Nomads bank accounts to recover their K1 950 000 transfer fee.
Chitsulo, who was a key member of the historic Under-17 national team that qualified for the CAF Youth Chapionship and Under-17 World Cup in 2009, only featured in three competitive games for Wanderers.