Botswana Premiership side, Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ Chairperson Ernest Molome, has threatened to report Kinnah Phiri to the world football governing body, Fifa, for allegedly absconding duty at the Gaborone team.
Molome said Phiri asked the team for an advance payment of his salary but the former Flames coach has not returned to the team.
“He asked for advance pay to buy an air ticket [so as] to see his family in Malawi. We gave him 15,000 Pula (about K1.1 million) but we were surprised that he did not return during the agreed time.
“When we called him, he could not answer and until now he just cuts off the line. We have reported him to international police so that he should not get a foreign job. We will also report him to Fifa,” Molome said.
Phiri, who last year signed a two-year contract with Chiefs, has been at loggerheads with the Botswana team.
Barely weeks after taking the post, he asked for termination of the contract after accusing the team of making false promises and breaching his contract.
But, recently, Phiri said he was returning to Botswana after his issues regarding the contract were cleared.
Molome said he was surprised that Phiri was behaving in such a way after ironing out his concerns.
“We gave him all he wanted. We gave him a four-bedroomed house and met his other demands. So, what else was he looking for? Molome said.
While referring us to his agent, Phiri, who is back at his Mzuzu City base, denied the allegations, saying Chiefs should just accept that they have failed to meet his demands.
“This team is broke. They don’t have money to even pay players. It is a team surviving on well-wishers.
This team has had problems with previous hired coaches. I am a professional and I cannot do that kind of thing. These guys should just accept that the team is broke,” Phiri said.
Phiri’s Swaziland-based agent, Dingane Maduma, said Chiefs’ claims were a non-starter.
“What I know is that Chiefs paid for Kinnah’s air ticket to Malawi during the festive season on the agreement that he should return to Botswana early January .
When it was time for Kinnah to return to Botswana, Chiefs sent him money for the air ticket but Kinnah insisted that the team should pay him advance salaries for two months as a security because the team was failing to pay him on time. But the team refused to send the money, saying they could not pay someone for the services not offered,” Maduma said.
He said he is trying to reason with Phiri to go back to Botswana to fulfil his contractual obligations.
“I am trying to convince him to go back to Botswana so that he should [see out] his contract but Kinnah is refusing, saying he has suffered a lot. That is what I know about the whole issue,” Maduma said.
A few months ago, Kinnah threatened to report Tanzanian side, Mbeya City Council, to Fifa for breach of contract after parting ways.
While still contracted as Flames coach six years ago, Kinnah courted controversy when South African team, Carara Kicks, now defunct, claimed that they had hired him as their coach. Kinnah denied this.