Be Forward Wanderers have suspended their training after their Japanese sponsors expressed concern over players’ frequent training boycotts, the latest being on Tuesday.
A well-placed source confided in The Nation that the club’s executive committee held a crisis meeting yesterday to map the way forward after Japanese car exporter Be Forward Limited demanded justification for the team’s participation in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League when there appears to be lack of seriousness on their preparations.
“The executive committee has been meeting since morning to find a solution. The sponsor is concerned that just within a month, the players have boycotted training twice and they feel the development shows lack of seriousness and is tarnishing their image,” he said.
But while confirming the crisis meeting and suspension of training, Nomads general secretary (GS) Mike Butao yesterday said they will issue an official statement this morning after discussing with the sponsor and the players.
“I can confirm that we have suspended training until we sort out a serious internal issue with our sponsors and players. That is all I can say at the moment,” he said.
Butao said the issue has also cast a doubt on Saturday’s friendly match against their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets scheduled for Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The development comes barely 10 days before the Nomads’ CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against AS Vita in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Nomads players staged a sit-in on Tuesday demanding their share from the K15 million TNM Super League championship prize money, just three days after the prize presentation ceremony.
Wanderers received a dummy cheque but were supposed to get the official cheque yesterday.
However, team captain Joseph Kamwendo played down the issue, saying: “It was not necessarily a sit-in. We were just following up on our prize money share and we called for the GS to explain when we would get the money.”
The club’s board of trustees chairperson Rashid ‘Rashy’ Gaffar, while confirming the sponsor’s concern, said the players were just asking when they would get their dues.
“The sponsors are not happy with the negative reports the club generates which is very unfortunate, but it’s not a big issue,” he said. n