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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

How Mpengesi landed in an Eymael mess

The Chippa United owner keeps hiring Luc Eymael and then firing him due to public pressure.

Chippa United owner and chairman Sivuyile Mpengesi has once again ended with egg on his face after he had to renege on his decision to hire controversial coach Luc Eymael of Belgium.

ALSO READ: Chippa show Luc Eymael the door … again

Eymael was kicked out of Tanzanian side Young Africans Yanga SC in July 2020 after comparing the club’s supporters to “monkeys and dogs.”

The Belgian left the country with his tail between his legs on Wednesday evening after he was released by Chippa on two days after he was hired as technical advisor.

The same thing happened in December when Mpengesi’s intention to bring the Belgian back to South Africa was met with venom from different sectors including the club’s financial backers and sponsors.

After that initial mess, Mpengesi claimed to have lost a lot of money – probably from paying off Eymael when he had not even worked a day for him – and that reputational damage was severe for his club. But he insisted on bringing Eymael back again after firing Dan Malesela last weekend.Here’s a timeline of how the events leading to the hiring, firing, hiring again and firing again of Eymael at the Chilli Boys.

July 26, 2020 – Eymael is angry after losing out on the league title with Tanzanian side, Yanga SC. Fans want him out and vent their anger at him. He responds by calling them ‘illiterates who don’t understand football and all they know is how to shout and scream like monkeys and dogs’.

July 27, 2020 – Yanga SC release a statement saying they’ve fired Eymael and express their distaste of his unfortunate utterances. “Some of those statements by coach Luc Eymael accusing the fans that they have no education‚ the people in this country are stupid‚ the fans do not know football … their job is to shout like monkeys and ducks,” read part of the statement from the club.

July 28, 2020 – Safa send out a statement saying that Eymael will never be allowed to work in the country again.

December 23, 2020 – Chippa United announce that they’ve hired Eymael to replace Lehlohonolo Seema.

December 23, 2020 – Safa and other stakeholders raise their objection to the pending employment of Eymael, and call on Mpengesi to rethink his decision. After some public pressure in the following days, Mpengesi relents and cancels Eymael’s hiring, bringing back Dan Malesela instead.

April 4, 2021 – Chippa announce that they’ve parted ways with Malesela due to a string of poor results, worsened by a 5-1 drubbing at Maritzburg United the previous day.

April 4, 2021 – Chippa announce that they’ve hired Eymael as a technical director but are awaiting clearance from Safa on his eligibility to work in the country.

• April 5, 2021 – political organisation, EFF send out a statement threatening to march against Chippa an disrupt their games should they not reconsider their decision to hired Eymael. Pressure from different sectors mounts on Mpengesi to release Eymael in the next days.

April 7, 2021 – In a long and winded statement, Chippa blame the SABC for peddling an agenda against them and threaten legal action. But they also announce that they’ve parted ways with Eymael.

April 7, 2021 – Eymael confirms in several media interviews that he’s headed back home after amicably deciding to part ways with Chippa. The end. Or not?

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