Bamba’s fury at Hibs

The Scotsman - - Front Page -

De­fender re­acts an­grily to claims from club he has gone AWOL, and in­sists he was due time off.

De­fender faces rap for go­ing AWOL

alaN PaTTullO SOl Bamba has re­acted fu­ri­ously to the de­ci­sion by Hiber­nian to pub­licly re­veal that he had failed to turn up for the club’s pre-sea­son train­ing camp on the agreed date, leav­ing the de­fender’s fu­ture at Easter Road in huge doubt.

The Easter Road side, who are cur­rently in the midst of an 11-day tour to the Nether­lands, have been de­nied Bamba’s ser­vices so far but ac­cord­ing to man­ager John Hughes the de­fender should have been back in time to play last night’s match against ADO Den Haag. A state­ment was re­leased on the club’s of­fi­cial web­site yes­ter­day which claimed that the player had been given spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion to ar­rive at the Dutch train­ing camp on Mon­day. He has so far failed to do so.

Bamba was mem­ber of the Ivory Coast squad knocked out of the World Cup fi­nals af­ter the first round stage and, al­though he did not play in South Africa, had been given time off to re­cover. But Hughes has expressed dis­may that the player had failed to join up with the rest of the squad, with the club’s open­ing Europa league qual­i­fy­ing match – against Mari­bor or Videoton – just one week away.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed that Sol has cho­sen not to join up with the

a squad,” he said state­ment re­leased by the club yes­ter­day. “I’m sure that many peo­ple will feel let down at his fail­ure to at­tend the train­ing camp. We have shown Sol a great deal of flex­i­bil­ity over the last year and it’s frus­trat­ing that we will now en­ter the Euro­pean arena with­out one of our ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.”

The state­ment added that the club had not heard from the player while his rep­re­sen­ta­tives have been “un­able to pro­vide clar­ity on when Bamba is ex­pected to re­turn to train­ing”. But Bamba has railed against what he feels is the club’s un­help­ful stance. Not only is he un­happy at the de­tails hav­ing been made pub­lic but he is also dis­grun­tled at Hughes’ re­fusal to ac­com­mo­date his de­sire to have a longer break. Bamba plans to be back in Ed­in­burgh this week­end and is pre­pared to face the con­se­quences.

“I’ve had whole fam­ily and friends on the phone who have been wor­ried some­thing had hap­pened to me af­ter what they read in the news­pa­pers,” he said yes­ter­day.

“To be hon­est, I’m an­gry about the way the club has gone about mak­ing this pub­lic. I have never cheated any­one at Hibs, I’ve al­ways given ev­ery­thing for the team. The man­ager knows that, too. I tried to speak with the man­ager and the chair­man to ex­plain the sit­u­a­tion. My agent also phoned them to ask if I could have some ex­tra time off.

“Since last May, I haven’t had a break and I wanted to take about three weeks off af­ter the World Cup to recharge,” he added. “I played some­thing like 59 games for Hibs last sea­son, plus the African Na­tions Cup and then in South Africa. Ob­vi­ously, I didn’t

TurN TO PaGE 59

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