Ugandan footballer shares harrowing football experience in Zola
After two full seasons plying his trade in Botswana at Sharps Shooting Stars, Ugandan midfielder Lawrence Nduga’s contract was terminated following a week of unsettling images published on social media.
Sharps Managing Director Somerset Gobuiwang confirmed the Ugandan’s contract termination in a telephone interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday night.
“The contract was terminated amicably,” was all Gobuiwang was prepared to say.
Nduga, who joined the Old Naledi outfit from Zambian side Nkwazi FC in the 2017 season, sent an SOS via social media and to his countrymen in Uganda claiming that he was broke and had no where to stay.
In one of the pictures, he’s seen sleeping on a mattress on the veranda.
“I have been kicked out of the house by my landlord because I can’t afford to pay rent,”Nduga told Voice Sport in an exclusive interview.
“I’m a professional footballer, I can’t live like this! Now all I’m asking from Gobuiwang is to pay for my plane ticket so I head back home.”
Frustrated by what he termed unfulfilled promises by team management, Nduga wrote a letter to the club asking to be released.
“Look I didn’t go for Christmas break last year because the team failed to pay for my ticket. I have a family who is dependent on me. Now they know I’ve been kicked out of a rented house, I have no future here, I have to leave and try my luck elsewhere,” Nduga said, his disillusion and desperation obvious on the other end of the line.
His unorthodox attempts to force the hand of Shooting Stars into terminating his contract were however met with a stern warning from the club.
In a response letter dated 4th April, Club Secretary KabeloMoremong states thatNduga’s request has been rejected. The player was instead notified to come for a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct and bringing the club’s name into disrepute. He was charged with publishing untruths about the club on social media and being absent from work for three continuous days.
“You are therefore expected to continue rendering your services to the football club without failure,” reads part of the letter.
Undaunted, Nduga was not to be intimidated.
“The Federation of Uganda Football Association President is aware of my predicament and everyone back at home is watching this issue closely,” was Nduga’s response after receiving the charges.
Less than 24 hours later, Sharps performed a drastic U-turn and granted the want-away player his wish
“I’m now at peace. I just can’t wait to get on the plane and leave this country. No professional player should ever have to go through what I did at Sharps.
“I’m happy they apologised and we both agreed to go our separate ways,” was the Ugandan’s parting shot.