Matlama, Sundawana battle for Ghana duo

Matlama, Sundawana battle for Ghana duo

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

Vodacom Premier League sides Matlama and Sundawana are headed for a battle over the services of Ghana pair Michael Mireku and Samson Yapipi.

The two players were key members of Sundawana’s squad last season but have been training with Matlama since the start of pre-season two weeks ago.

If the clubs are unable to reach an agreement before the season starts on August 28 they will have to head to the premier league committee to settle the dispute.

According to sources, Mireku and Yapipi are claiming they are free agents.

However, speaking on Tuesday, Sundawana general manager Mapena Tloaelo insisted both players still have two-year contracts with the Butha-Buthe club.

Tloaelo said Matlama have to make an offer to Sundawana if they want to sign the Ghanaian pair.

“The two players have not been training with us. We are still expecting them to come (back). We only heard that they have been training with Matlama, but we have not received a letter from Matlama whatsoever,” he told thepost.

Tloaelo added: “Apparently they said they are free agents when they arrived at Matlama. This is what we are hearing from people outside. But it is not true. They have two years remaining on their contracts with us.”

Sundawana players have already reconvened for preseason and are preparing for next weekend’s Alliance Winter Preseason Tournament.

The two-day preseason competition will feature Matlama, Sundawana as well as Lioli and Lesotho Correctional Service.

Matlama and Sundawana are scheduled to face off in the first semi-final.

Since the tournament does not fall under the premier league, teams can use trialists and unregistered players.

Tloaelo said if Matlama want Mireku and Yapipi, they should make it fast because Sundawana are about to wrap up a deal with an unnamed local club interested in their services.

“We will let them go if (Matlama) want them, we want (Matlama) to make an offer for the players and they are not the only ones who want them,” Tloaelo said.

“There are other teams that want them as well, especially Michael. There is a team that wants him and, if everything goes according to plan, the transfer will be done this week,” he continued.

Tloaelo said if Matlama are unwilling to spend money on Mireku and Samson, Sundawana will welcome them back as they are still their players.

“How will (Matlama) register them when they don’t have their full documents? They must get their clearance from us first and we are not going to give them that unless they pay. Even the league has the copy of the contracts for both players, they are our players,” he insisted.

Tloaelo concluded by revealing the signing of promising talent Sello Koetle who was on loan from Likila United last season. Tloaelo said more new faces are expected to arrive in Butha-Buthe in the coming days.

Sundawana have already secured the services of four Ghanaian players: Norman Kumatse, Ernest Antwi, Emmanuel Kudiabor and Abekah Frederick.

“Sello Koetle is here and we are expecting the four Ghanaian players to arrive in the country tomorrow. All the players we have signed will be available next week during the Alliance tournament,” Tloaelo said.

Approached yesterday, Matlama refused to comment and said they will only address the issue when they announce their signings for the 2016/17 season.

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