By DAILY NEWS Reporter, 28th December 2011 @ 11:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3022
MAINLAND soccer champions, Yanga leadership has said it will not punish the club’s Rwandan midfielder, Haruna Niyonzima, for what was recently termed as the player’s failure to arrive at the club in time to prepare for the forthcoming domestic and continental assignments.
Yanga’s Serbian coach, Kostadin Papic, was recently quoted as saying he will propose punishment for Niyonzima for what the coach claimed the latter’s failure to join his teammates in time and start training.
The team’s General Secretary, Mwesigwa Celestine, told the ‘Daily News’ that the leadership does not have any reason to punish Niyonzima because he was working on securing a new passport after the previous one had expired.
“We do not have any report from Papic on his plan to propose punishment for Niyonzima…and the issue is, the player was settling passport issues back in his home country,” said Celestine. He said Niyonzima returned back to Dar es Salaam during Christmas day (last Sunday) and immediately joined his team mates for training, which started at Loyola Secondary School in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday morning, thus, the team’s leadership has no plans to punish the player.
“The leadership has no problems with Niyonzima…processing a new passport requires a considerable amount of time,” he added. Mwesigwa said the leadership will seek to settle the matter amicably even if Papic will present a report insisting on punishing the player.
Recent reports had it that Niyonzima, together with Yanga’s other professionals, Ugandan Hamisi Kiiza and Zambian Davies Mwape, opted to stay in their respective countries following financial constraints that was said to have surfaced at the club recently.
Papic, on Monday, said the team failed to start training to prepare for both the second round of the Mainland Premier League and the preliminary round of the African Champions League for the past week because of, among others, financial constraints.
The outspoken coach said the players had not been paid salaries and were finding it difficult to meet their respective families’ demands, a situation that prompted him to contact the leadership in an effort to solve the matter but to no avail. Meanwhile, Yanga members from Tandale branch in the city have demanded that the team’s leadership should voluntarily step down before the former had ousted them.
The branch’s Assistant Secretary General, Said Bakari, said the members were fed up with the leadership’s failure to honour its obligations. Bakari, who had been accompanied by the branch’s vice-chairman, Waziri Jittu, said the members had already detected signs of dishonesty on the part of the leadership from early on.
“We thank Papic for demonstrating his love for our club because he could not have revealed the rot that is currently prevailing in the club had he not been committed to fighting for the club’s prosperity,” said Jittu.
The members said the leadership, which has been in power for almost 16 months, has failed to seek more reliable sponsorship other than the one the club has at present, which was sealed by the previous leadership. They added that the leadership has failed to pay the players salaries, as well as settling the training ground fees.
“The club was supposed to convene three executive meetings every year and about 15 meetings have already taken place but nothing has been achieved,” said Jittu. The members further revealed that Yanga Chairman, Lloyd Nchunga, is colluding with the club’s elders, who filed an objection at the court opposing the club’s plan to convene the General Meeting, so that he (Nchunga) could continue staying in power for his own selfish ends.
The members, therefore, have requested the elders to waive the objection and allow the club’s general meeting to take place in a bid to rescue the club from looming deep crisis. Efforts to contact Nchunga for clarification on the matter proved futile, as telephone calls to his phone went unanswered.
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