SuperSport United and star winger Thuso Phala are set for a bitter divorce as relations between both parties have reached a new low.
Phala had a major fallout with the club’s rookie coach Kaitano Tembo and the club management some time ago, and has not been training with the team since late last month.
It seems the breakdown in relations between Phala and Tembo started after their 3-1 loss to Orlando Pirates back in September. Phala felt humiliated for being substituted and replaced with Fagrie Lakay 28 minutes into the game at Orlando Stadium.
He was also benched for the MTN8 final against Cape Town City and made his last appearance for United against Kaizer Chiefs (1-0 loss) in Mbombela last month. He had a disagreement with Tembo in that game as well.
“On the Thuso matter I don’t know much. All I know is that there was a suspension and disciplinary matter some time ago,” club chairman Khulu Sibiya said.
“I don’t want to give you a half-baked story, so the best person to speak to is Stan. He is the one dealing with it. I can’t tell you much.”
Club CEO Stan Matthews could not be reached for comment.
Phala, with 20 Bafana Bafana caps, has been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates. But SuperSport could make his life difficult in the remaining five months of his contract.
His management agency, QT Sport, released a statement lambasting the club and defending their client.
“He [Phala] was told by his club official not to attend training following his questioning of certain issues after one of their matches in Mbombela [against Chiefs].
“Soon thereafter certain selective media started to report him as having gone AWOL [absent without leave] while hiding behind a source,” the agency’s Basia Michaels explained.
“We will deal with this matter by informing the public of the correct turn of events on the Thuso Phala saga each step of the way while exposing the long existing shenanigans that the public may not necessarily know of.”