Be Forward Wanderers have said their midfielder Isaac ‘Tcheya’ Kaliati’s absence has nothing to do with reports linking him to their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets.
Kaliati, considered as one of the brightest football prospects on the domestic scene, has not featured for the Nomads since the TNM Super League rolled into life and missed games against Silver Strikers and Dwangwa United, fuelling speculation that he is crossing the great divide.
But Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao yesterday said the player’s absence is in connection to his five percent levy from the K4 million ($5 831) transfer fee they paid to Azam Tigers.
“His [Kaliati] manager told him not to travel to Lilongwe for the Silver game until the K200 000 [$292] levy was paid.
“But then he was supposed to get the levy from Tigers because we paid the whole transfer fee to them,” said Butao.
The Nomads GS said the matter has since been resolved amicably and the player has since resumed training.
“There was indeed talk about him joining Bullets, but we cannot let our key player join Bullets. They [Bullets] can only sign players from us that are not on our plans.”
And in a rather light-hearted tone, Butao said: “One of Bullets’ technical officials was recently on air boasting that they were about to net a ‘big fish’ from us, in reference to ‘Tcheya’. I hope they are smoking 2010 cigarettes [one of Nyasa Manufacturing Company’s brands] and not the other stuff.”
But Bullets acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo yesterday said despite the rumour, at no time did they court Kaliati.
“It was just one of those rumours,” he said.
Kaliati also confirmed having resolved the issue with Wanderers.