Bamba’s fury at Hibs
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
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