Madidilane speaks out on match-fixing claims

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Moorosi Tsiane       

Econet Premier League Coach of the Month for September, James Madidilane, has come out guns blazing saying he will reconsider his position due to the unfounded accusations that his team is fixing matches.

The South African also charged that the accusations could the product of xenophobia.

He won the league in his maiden season and has so far won the Independence Top4 in this, his second season.

His achievements have been overshadowed by unsubstantiated claims in some quarters that he has been aided by his bosses who fix matches.

In a no-holds barred interview with the Sunday Express recently, Madidilane said he was “annoyed” by the rumours.

“People tend to forget that before I am a coach I am also a human being and these things get to me even if I am also expected to remain calm,” an irate Madidilane charged.

“I think there is a personal vendetta against me, maybe because I am a foreigner like some have always emphasised. I was hired by Bantu and I respect them but to be honest I am no longer sure if I will continue coaching in this country after this season.

“There is still a lot for me to learn and I can’t say I am there yet although I have won the premier league and the Independence Top4.

“I am here to learn but unfortunately it looks like I joined the team that is hated by almost everyone. But that is not for me because I am here to work not to make friends or get involved in issues that I don’t know anything about.”

He said the negative publicity also affected his players as shown by their dip in form which has seen them lose to Kick4Life and draw with LCS.

“As much as they (players) don’t want to admit it, these negative things affect them as well. They have been very inconsistent and we really have to work hard and help them recover.

“During my playing days at (Bloemfontein) Celtic when the teams was on everybody’s lips for all the wrong reasons our coach advised us not to read newspapers and that really helped us because we dusted ourselves and started winning again. But now players will always read these things on social media.”

Madidilane however, said he was unfazed by Likhopo who have lodged an appeal against his side over claims that they used four players who are allegedly not properly registered.

The four are Thabo Sedisa, Khotso Molelengoane, Tsietsi Khooa and Itumeleng Falene.

“We used the same players for the whole of last season and all of a sudden there are these baseless claims that are only meant to cause distraction in our team. But we are not worried and I just have to ensure my players perform to expectations and winning the league will be the bonus.”

He said he believed the allegations would only serve to strengthen him and “help me to leave this country a stronger man than before”.

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