Baroka FC fires coach, key play­ers

Olaleng Shaku and Os­carine Ma­su­luke axed after a dis­ci­plinary process for mis­con­duct

African Times - - Front Page - MASHUDU SADIKE

BAROKA FC coach Kgoloko Thobe­jane , a cap­tain and a goalk­keeper have been booted out of the club. Thobe­jane was shown the door in ab­sen­tia after he failed to at­tend a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing last week. His dis­missal has been con­firmed by club chair­man Khur­ishi Mphahlele.

Thobe­jane could not be reached but Mphahlele re­port­edly said the coach col­lected the ver­dict on Mon­day.

Cap­tain Olaleng Shaku said he has apol­o­gised and asked for for­give­ness from the club fol­low­ing his un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous dis­missal.

Shaku to­gether with goal­keeper Os­carine Ma­su­luke were booted out of the Lim­popo club fol­low­ing a booz­ing in­ci­dent which also al­legedly in­volved the soft-spo­ken Thobe­jane.

The pair had a re­mark­able jour­ney at Baroka FC from the time the club cam­paigned in the Vo­da­com League. Shaku was a long serv­ing cap­tain of the side while Ma­su­luke gained pop­u­lar­ity after be­ing nom­i­nated for the 2017 FIFA Puskas Awards.

But today they are lan­guish­ing at home with­out a club after be­ing axed by the club fol­low­ing a dis­ci­plinary process for mis­con­duct.

Their story is an ex­am­ple of how things can quickly change in foot­ball.

Mphahlele said the club’s de­ci­sion to dis­miss their skip­per and star goal­keeper is be­cause the Lim­popo out­fit did not want to be de­railed by things that do not have any­thing to do with foot­ball.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I can’t go into the de­tails of why we ar­rived at this de­ci­sion but can con­firm to you that the play­ers have been re­leased.

“I think it’s best for both par­ties and we move on with the se­ri­ous busi­ness of be­ing com­pet­i­tive in this league and build this brand that the peo­ple of Lim­popo are proud of,” said Mphahlele.

The two play­ers have been im­pli­cated, to­gether with the coach in a drink­ing scan­dal at the club. They were ac­cused of booz­ing up in the team’s bus after los­ing 2-0 to Free State Stars early last month.

When con­tacted for com­ment the 29-year-old Shaku, who had been with Baroka since their days in the Vo­da­com League, all would say was that he was very sorry and he has asked for for­give­ness at his for­mer club while Ma­su­luke agreed for African Times to send him a list of ques­tions but never re­sponded to them.

Kea­gan Warse­fall, Ma­su­luke’s agent said that his con­tract was ter­mi­nated after an in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

“He is young and will learn from this. Now we will just look to the fu­ture, as­sess pos­si­ble op­tions for the new season,” Warse­fall said.

In 2016, Ma­su­luke gained promi­nence after his last minute bi­cy­cle kick that earned Baroka a 1-1 draw against Or­lando Pi­rates which then got him nom­i­nated for the FIFA awards.

When asked if the Puskas award nom­i­nee had any pre-of­fers as yet, Warse­fall said that he wouldn’t have any of­fers yet as the dis­missal was still fresh.

“I’m sure teams will start as­sess­ing their squads closer to the end of the season,” he said.

Mphahlele added that the coach who is al­leged to have been drink­ing with the two play­ers was sup­posed to have ap­peared be­fore a dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee last Wed­nes­day but failed to at­tend.

“We are in a crit­i­cal stage of the league and the Ned­bank Cup cam­paigns and our fo­cus must be on do­ing well on the field dur­ing the re­main­ing matches.” Mphahlele said. Muku­rukuru Media

Fired Baroka FC cap­tain Olaleng Shaku has apol­o­gised.

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