Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo fires parting shot

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Fired Nico United coach, Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo, has no kind words for his former employers.

Khumalo was suspended for three weeks before he was dismissed on Tuesday. He had one year left on his contract after joining the Selebi-Phikwe Premier League side last season. In dismissing Khumalo, Nico cited unprofessional conduct, but this has left the Zimbabwean seething.

 

Khumalo said the club never called him for a hearing and was surprised to receive a letter terminating his contract.

Khumalo, however, reiterated that he was not bitter at his dismissal. He said it is difficult for foreign coaches to work in Botswana because their jobs are not secure.

"I will be going back home to Zimbabwe to refresh and think hard whether I can come back to Botswana or not. It is difficult for Zimbabwean coaches to work freely here because we do not have job security," a disappointed Khumalo said. Khumalo feels that something needs to be done about the plight of coaches at clubs. He said his dismissal at Nico has damaged his reputation after the club accused him of misconduct. He showed Mmegi Sport an unsigned contract, which the club offered him. "Even my name is written as Wilfred instead of Willard," he said.

He lashed out at the Nico management saying they did not take football seriously. The club has instructed the coach to surrender all the equipment in his possession before he is paid his dues. Nico reciprocated Khumalo’s comments with a stinging attack, despite club spokesperson, Tiro Kganela saying they parted with the coach amicably.

"The players and supporters did not want him because he divided the team. He failed to produce results. He did not have a professional conduct and did not camp with players prior to games," Kganela said. He said they called Khumalo for a hearing but the Zimbabwean did not turn up and the management decided to sack him. In the interim, assistant coach Toba Mothuba will hold fort.