Push comes to shove. China-based Women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga has dumped Jiangsu Suning and has joined her sister Temwa at Wuhan.
In an interview on Friday, the reigning Chinese women’s Footballer of the Year said her move follows a mutual termination of her contract.
Tabitha recently expressed concern that Jiangsu were not meeting their contractual obligations.
“While I still had a year remaining on my contract, it was mutually agreed that they should release me on condition that I will not get my outstanding dues which I felt was a fair deal.
“I also had offers from France and Spain, but the one from Wuhan was so tempting that I couldn’t resist it.
“I am happy to have sorted out this issue amicably and I look forward to starting a new lease of life at Wuhan,” said the Malawi national women’s football team captain from Kenya enroute to China.
The 24-year-old prolific forward said Jiangsu are currently struggling financially having lost their main sponsor Suning, who were also co-ownrrs for Italian giants AC Milan.
“The going is really tough for them and the situation isn’t that good,” she said.
The Scorchers skipper, who has signed a two-year deal at champions Wuhan with an option to extend by a year, said she is looking forward to teaming up with her sister Temwa.
“Oh yes, I am excited. It will not be the first time as we also played together at DD Sunshine,” she said.
Jiangsu had not responded to our questionnaire at press time on Friday.
Temwa also said she looks forward to teaming up with her sister again.
“She is my mentor and idol and having her in the same team will be amazing. I look forward to a great competition with her and others as well,” she said.
Tabitha joined Jiangsu at the start of 2018 season and helped them to a second-place finish.
Individually, she swept all the accolades on offer in her debut season, including Player of the Year, Golden Boot Award and Players’ Player of the season.
It was a feat she repeated the following season, which was spiced up by a league title and two cups.
But as financial woes took toll, Jiangsu struggled in the 2020 season in which they finished third behind champions Wuhan.
Tabitha is considered among the best women footballers both on the continent and in the world.
She made the top five CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year shortlist in 2019. The event was not held last year due to Covid-19.