Owner and chairperson of South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Polokwane City Johnny Mogaladi yesterday painted a gloomy picture on the prospects of taking on board Nyasa Big Bullets striker Muhammad Sulumba.
In a telephone interview with The Nation from South Africa yesterday, Mogaladi said the player belongs to Bullets and, as such, The People’s Team and the player himself are better placed to explain his future.
The Nation wanted to find out from Polokwane if they have plans to revive the deal in the next transfer window or in the near future.
The South African club’s side had not commented on the player since he returned home early this month due to the controversy surrounding his transfer deal.
But Mogaladi yesterday said: “I cannot comment about a footballer who is playing for Bullets in Malawi while I am in South Africa. Muhammad belongs to Bullets and I do not want to talk about this player.”
“It is difficult; he is playing for that team. The best people to comment about his future are his club and the player himself.”
Sulumba, who featured as a substitute for Bullets against Moyale Barracks and Mzuni FC in Mzuzu last weekend, said Polokwane told him to return home, as he waits for the next transfer window to open.
“They told me they could not continue keeping me at the club until the next transfer window because Bullets had not cleared me. They said I should just remain focused on my job because another door might open in the near future,” Sulumba said.
“The team loved me so much and had no problem with me, but they were confused with the transfer controversy. The developments pained me so much, but I could not force matters because it is only God who knows my destiny. I do not care whether I complete my soccer career locally if that is what God planned for me.”
Last year, Sulumba also had his three-year contract with another South African club, Jomo Cosmos, cancelled prematurely due to foreign quota complications.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has referred the issue to its legal committee to decide whether it should be considered a criminal matter to be taken to an ordinary court.
Bullets wrote a letter to FAM early this month seeking guidance on the way forward after the club’s former top official reportedly admitted to have pocketed from Polokwane R70 000 (about K3.5 million) which was not declared to the club.
The official is reported to have committed to refund the money in four instalments.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said they recently met Bullets officials twice to first discuss the current status of the player so as to allow him play in the domestic league and on the other matters which are being handled by the legal committee.
“Our priority was to see Sulumba back on the playing field and that was done. As for the other matters, our legal committee is further consulting to get more information so that they can determine whether the issue should be taken to court or not,” said Nyirenda, adding they are yet to hear the side of the ex-Bullets official involved in the handling of the transfer fee.
In spite of that, he could not say when the legal team will come up with its decision.
Bullets chairperson Noel Lipipa said they will still wait for FAM to guide them on the way forward before they can comment “because this is a complicated matter that involves both the footballer’s career and the money.”
When he was sent back home, Sulumba had already signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Polokwane and his work permit was ready. n