Why Amakhosi fired coach Vladimir

2012-04-14 18:46

Screaming matches with senior Kaizer Chiefs stars and a conflict of interest over players lie behind the dramatic dismissal of Vladimir Vermezovic last week.

City Press has established that Vermezovic favoured players signed to his own agent (Ivica Stankovic) and this led to serious divisions in the club.

The players who belong to Stankovic are goalkeeper Arthur Baartman, and midfielders George Lebese and Dominic Mateba.

The issue apparently came to a head during the Golden Arrows game in September last year when captain Jimmy Tau entrusted Lebese with a crucial penalty.

Lebese missed the shot, Chiefs lost 2-1 and Tau was stripped of the captaincy by “VV”.

The coach blamed Tau for giving this huge responsibility to the young player.

On March 25, City Press reported there was tension between the coach and senior player Tinashe Nengomasha.

The player, who has captained Chiefs on several occasions, was relegated to the bench after he allegedly influenced players to snub an invitation from the coach for free drinks after the 1-all draw against Jomo Cosmos at Nelson Mandela Stadium.

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

A source at the club said the latest development was a bust-up between the coach and misfiring striker Bernard Parker.

The source said the coach refused to shake hands with Parker after the Absa Premiership League match against Bloemfontein Celtic at Peter Mokaba Stadium last month.

Another source in the club said Chiefs were trying to downplay the situation in a bid to protect the brand.

“The problem was escalating as some young players claimed the coach had also tried to induce them to sign with the agent in exchange for game time,” according to the source.

Stankovic confirmed that he represented Vermezovic and that Mateba, Baartman and Lebese were his players.

“The information that you’ve got is partly true. But Dominic has never played in any league game this season. Where does this come from? I’m not going to continue with this discussion. I won’t comment any further,” said Stankovic.

The agent was also behind Siyabulela Songwiqi’s move to Chiefs last season, although the 27-year-old did not last as he was deemed to be surplus.

He was loaned to Santos after failing to crack the starting line-up.

Amakhosi have lately received their fair share of negative publicity, with reports indicating there was a huge rift between senior players and the coach.

However, the club has constantly denied the claims, saying they were fabrications, and an attempt to create a crisis and destabilise the club in its quest to win the league.

Vermezovic refused to comment yesterday, bluntly saying: “I don’t want discussion. No conversation and no comment. Thanks, Chief.”

Club director Jessica Motaung, who was tasked with commenting after the club made the announcement, said chairman Kaizer Motaung would be “the right person to answer your questions”.

“I can’t find the chairman and I think it will be unfair for me to nit-pick and say these were the reasons we parted ways. The decision was amicable.

“It would be unfair for me to unpack the decision and say these were the reasons we parted with the coach.”

Former players Donald Khuse, Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane are stand-in coaches until the end of the season.

Speculation this week was that former Bafana Bafana coaches Carlos Quiroz and Stuart Baxter were in line to be appointed as VV’s replacement.


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