Malawi national football (Flames) lanky forward Russell Mwafulirwa has apologised to Jomo Cosmos owner Jomo Sono after he left the club without informing him to train at SuperSport United.
Mwafulirwa told www. KickOff.com that the delay in the issuing of his permanent residence papers, which would have enabled him to play for Ezenkosi, is the reason he left.
However, in a brief telephone interview with Nation Online on Wednesday Sono, who is coach of the team, stated that while he is not bitter with Mwafulirwa, he would have expected the player to approach him personally other than going through the media
The lanky striker is still a free agent, as he had not signed any contract with Cosmos yet, despite training with them for a lengthy period. He reveals that it was his dream to play for Ezenkosi again.
“The reality is that I stopped training with Cosmos because I needed to get an opportunity for myself elsewhere. I was also frustrated at having to wait so long for the papers and that frustration contributed to my departure.
“Of course, I admit it was not right of me to have just left Cosmos without informing the big boss [Jomo Sono], but at the same time, I did not have the strength to approach him and let him know about what I had decided at that time.
“I know it looks awkward of me to be apologising now, but this is a genuine apology because he is a man who has been very helpful in my career. I am apologising because of the respect that I have for him,” Mwafulirwa was quoted as saying.
“Worse still is the reality that Cosmos wouldnâ€™t have used me this season without the papers because they already have five foreigners in their books. I know the big boss wanted me there, and I also wanted to be there, but the reality is that without the papers, there was nothing both of us could have done.
“It was my dream to play for Cosmos and help them from relegation … even up to now, I still do not want to see them going down,” he says.
Mwafulirwa adds that he has been without any income since his return late last year, but is happy to be with his family as he continues his fight for a job at SuperSport.
“I am still looking for a job and I am happy to be training. Trust me, the time when I get to play again, I will show how much I have got better. Though the reality is that I will most likely only get to play next season for whoever I eventually get to sign for.
“But that hasnâ€™t stopped me from training like I will be playing in the next game! I am working very hard to show the coach [Gavin Hunt] what I can offer if I am signed,” Mwafulirwa says.
But Sono yesterday said he bears no grudge against the player.
“That is how players behave sometimes. But if he really wants to apologise, he knows where to find me,” Sono said.
The only option that Cosmos had in their bid to use Mwafulirwa was to wait for his permanent residence papers as they had already exhausted their foreign quota.