Chiefs players revolt against VV

2012-03-24 16:06

Another player revolt has rocked Kaizer Chiefs, leading to Serbian coach Vladimir Vermezovic uncharacteristically benching trusted Zimbabwean midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha.

A huge outcry ensued when “VV” – as the Amakhosi coach is known – left Nengomasha out of the team that lost 3-2 to Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium last week.

Many felt that Nengomasha’s absence in the engine room (midfield) gave Pirates players the leeway at the centre of the park.

City Press has established that there is bad blood between the player and coach, emanating from an incident that happened in Port Elizabeth last month.

Two players within the club said Nengomasha influenced other players to boycott an invitation by the coach to free drinks after the 1-1 draw against Jomo Cosmos at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.

Our informants said Nengomasha told his team-mates to go to bed instead.

The tiff has led to the Zimbabwean being sidelined in three successive matches – against Cape Town All-Stars (Nedbank Cup), Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic (both league).

When asked about Nengomasha’s absence after the derby, Vermezovic said he was saving him for the Celtic game, but still did not field him in the 2-0 victory in midweek.

“One of the younger players who is the coach’s favourite told him that Tinashe advised them against rocking up at the joint when he asked why they did not attend his drinking session,” said one player, who did not want to be identified.

“Clearly, this did not go down well with the coach as he is now sidelining him.”

Another player said: “VV did not take it well that Tinashe influenced other players and retaliated by excluding him from the team. He has not played since. This issue was swept under the carpet. We’re not allowed to talk about it.”

The latest bust-up comes as a result of simmering tensions between Vermezovic and a few senior players.

Late last year, the coach had a tiff with Jimmy Tau, which led to the player losing the captain’s armband.

It was alleged that Vermezovic disrespected Tau in front of all players by telling him he was “not a good leader and fails to reprimand his fellow players”.

Tau was blamed for shifting the responsibility of taking a penalty kick during a crucial game against Golden Arrows last year to the young George Lebese, who missed.

Tau refused to comment on Friday.

The tiff with Nengomasha has not gone down very well with the supporters, who have been calling for him to be reinstated into the team, particularly after the loss to Pirates.

Nengomasha refused to confirm or deny the allegations when approached, saying he did not know why he was being left out of the team.

“I am not the one who decides whether I should play or not and the coach’s decision is final. I really don’t know why I am not playing and this has an impact on my career,” said Nengomasha.

Vermezovic refused to comment yesterday saying: “I’m not talking to newspapers. I do not answer questions from newspapers.”

The club’s general manager, Bobby Motaung, said people were out to destabilise the team as part of a campaign to distract them.

“This has never come to my attention and I would have been the first one to know because players know what channels to follow if they have grievances. Now that the team is playing well, people want to destabilise us. The club has sound management and the chairman is available on a daily basis,” said Motaung.

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