Be Forward Wanderers have slapped their midfielder Joseph Kamwendo with a four-match suspension and a K50 000 fine following his bust-up with team manager Stevie Madeira during their TNM Super League match against Silver Strikers on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Kamwendo lost his cool after being substituted in the second half and accused Madeira of misleading the coaches by influencing his substitution.
A letter to the player dated October 28 2018, co-signed by the club’s general secretary Mike Butao and disciplinary committee chairperson Allan Chuma, states that the suspension follows Kamwendo’s “gross misconduct after being substituted”.
Part of the letter reads: “We have had reports from the technical panel about your negative attitude whenever you have been substituted, the last of which was you telling your fellow players on the bench after being substituted during the 2018 Carlsberg Cup final [against Masters Security FC] that you were too big a player to be substituted and the technical panel would lose their jobs for substituting you.
“This is unacceptable and no player is bigger or will ever be bigger than Wanderers. Your misbehaviour has been tolerated for a while, but it is destroying the fabric of the team. This is a final warning and a recurrence of any act of indiscipline from you will result in instant dismissal.”
However, in an interview yesterday, Kamwendo said he is surprised that the club has punished him without hearing his side.
“I am just arriving home from church and I have not been communicated to. In any case, I would have expected them to call for a disciplinaray hearing.
“Anyway, I will take it as a man. Maybe that’s what I deserve for all what I have done for the club,” he said.
However, Kamwendo stuck to his guns that Madeira was responsible for his recent substitutions.
“There is a lot happening behind the scenes. He is being used by national team coaches as a way of suppressing calls from the public for my return to the national team. Instead, they want other players who are with the national team to be featured,” he said.
However, Madeira and Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) dismissed Kamwendo’s claims.
Said Madeira: “I have no control on fielding of players as that is beyond my responsibility. It is entirely at the discretion of the coaches on who to feature or substitute. I am not a coach.”
On his part, RVG said: “His theory does not make sense to me. I do not think it is even proper for me to comment on that. What is he trying to achieve by coming up with such accusations?”
Nomads technical director Yasin ‘Titch’ Osman also laughed off Kamwendo’s claims.
“To begin with, Madeira has no influence whatsoever in team selection and fielding, he has no authority to do that.
“The set-up is very clear whereby it is the coach who is in control because when the team loses, the coach takes full responsibility. If that was the case, we would have heard it either from the coaches or the players,” he said. n