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Akbay wants Amini out, Tsano back

by Staff reporter
29 Aug 2017 at 06:15hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS coach, Erol Akbay, has alleged sabotage by his assistant Amini Soma-Phiri as the cause for the team's recent poor performances and wants Cosmas "Tsano" Zulu back into the first team technical set-up.

Bosso, who had a promising first half of the season in which they were among the title contenders, have been pathetic since the turn of the half, winning once, a 2-0 over Shabanie Mine, in the last six games.

At the weekend, the Bulawayo were crushed 0-3 by Ngezi Platinum Stars and Akbay reportedly reacted by writing a letter to the club's executive indicating that he wants Soma-Phiri out of his dressing room.

The loss to Ngezi was Highlanders' third consecutive defeat.

"The coach pulled a shocker by writing a letter, which he handed in at the club's offices yesterday morning ahead of a scheduled review meeting. He alleged that Soma-Phiri has been sabotaging him and wants Tsano back. Because of the coach's surprise letter, the executive has been forced to look into the allegations and quickly come up with a decision," said a source.

Highlanders chucked Zulu out of the first team where he was goalkeepers' trainer in July and reassigned him to the juniors after finding him guilty of misconduct following a disciplinary hearing.

Zulu and Soma-Phiri had been suspended with full pay on June 16 after the club's leadership felt their personal clashes were negatively impacting the team.

Soma-Phiri and Zulu had engaged in a heated argument and exchanged insults in front of players on their way from Mandava Stadium after their match against FC Platinum on May 28.

The final straw was the argument the two had in full view of fans on the bench when Highlanders embarrassingly lost 0-3 to Black Rhinos at Morris Depot in Harare.

The Highlanders executive is in a dilemma following the coach's letter, which asks for Zulu's return to first team.

The executive was still locked up in a marathon meeting by 8PM, having started shortly after midday yesterday.

Highlanders were three points behind then log leaders Black Rhinos when the league announced their mid-season break on July 10. Bosso were on position seven with 28 points, while Black Rhinos topped the table with 31 points.

When league action resumed on July 27, Highlanders lost 1-2 to Bulawayo City.

Bosso then bounced back with a 2-0 away win at Shabanie Mine before being held to a 0-0 draw by Harare City, which was followed by three consecutive defeats to ZPC Kariba (2-0), Tsholotsho FC (1-0) and Saturday's 3-0 loss to Ngezi.

Calls for Akbay to quit have been growing and following the loss at Ngezi, sources said some Highlanders officials were ready to support Akbay's suspension.

"Some wanted the coach to step aside, but he acted quickly by submitting his letter before the weekly meeting, putting into jeopardy plans to suspend him. There are also fears that external forces are influencing some executive members' decisions and that is the reason the meeting had to take many breaks during the day, as they went to consult their advisors. The club will announce its decision tomorrow (today)," the source said.

Contacted for comment, Highlanders' acting chairman Modern Ngwenya referred questions to the club's chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube, whose mobile phone was switched off.

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Source - chronicle
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