ZEBRAS STAR SAID TO BE ON HIS WAY OUT THIS WEEK
Gaborone United appear set to finally part ways with their troubled striker Moemedi Moatlhaping.
After a lengthy debate over his future the much travelled 29-year-old will be on the look out for another employer four months after falling out of favour with the club’s management.
According to well-informed sources the club and the Football Union of Botswana, who are representing the player, are on the point of agreeing a settlement package.
Originally dropped because of a loss of form his inclusion in the team to play Super Sport against the coach’s wishes led to an internal dispute that saw the striker placed on the January transfer list with 15 months left on his contract.
Bright who was his coach at Bay United (now Polokwane City) and was responsible for bringing him back to Botswana to play for GU, is said to have told club owner Nicholas Zakhem that the player was a bad influence on the team.
During the January window he was offered out on loan, but no club signed him in that time perhaps put off by the prospect of having to pay his sizeable wages. He rejected a loan move to Tafic without even getting as far as discussing terms saying that after playing in South Africa and returning to Gaborone, he did not want to live in Francistown.
According to a well-placed source within the team, the decision to fire Moatlhaping was taken about two weeks ago.
Zakhem is said to have made it very clear that based on the information he got from the former coach, there is no way Moatlhaping will be accommodated back into the team.
The former Zebras player has been excluded from training with the team for over a month now because Gaborone United said they were still dealing with his issue and it was best that he stayed away.
“All that’s left now is for the player and his representatives to negotiate his exit package. They have already made it clear that the player should be paid for the remainder of his contract.
Even though he will be declared a free agent he will further have to wait for FIFA’s approval,” revealed a source.
When approached for comment, the once darling of the national team with 34 caps since 2004 said he was not allowed to talk to the media about this issue and claimed ignorance over latest reports that he has finally been fired.
“I am sorry I cannot comment on the matter as I have asked the Players Union to handle it on my behalf, perhaps they would be better placed to answer your questions,” Moatlhaping said.
Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) Head of Communications Kgosana Masaseng said, they are still to meet Gaborone United for a follow up meeting, but expressed hope that the issue would reach a conclusion soon.
“The decisions we make today have a huge bearing on these players’ future so there is a lot of discussion involved.
We are doing everything possible to reach an agreement with GU, which has also shown keen interest in resolving the impasse,” Masaseng said.
In a telephone interview with Voice Sport, Gaborone United Secretary Hebert Letsebe denied that they have decided to part ways with Moatlhaping, indicating that their negotiations were still on-going.
“Jomo is still our player, we had a meeting with him yesterday (Tuesday) and we are meeting him again on Wednesday where a decision will be made thereafter.
All I can confirm to you is that the talks are going on very well but obviously it will depend on where we reach with him,” he explained.
Letsebe added that Moatlhaping was keen on staying at GU.
Full name: Moemedi Moatlhaping
Date of birth: 14 July 1985 (age 28)
Place of birth: Moshupa, Botswana
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Midfielder
Current club: Gaborone United
Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
-2006 Township Rollers
2006–2007 Platinum Stars
2007–2008 Township Rollers
2008–2011 Centre Chiefs
2011–2012 Bay United
2012– Gaborone United