Azam Tigers accused of player-tapping

In a dramatic twist to the controversy surrounding teenage sensation Dalitso Sailesi, Blantyre United are planning to sue Azam Tigers over the player.

Blantyre United loaned the Under-20 international winger to Big Bullets during the recent transfer window at K750 000 fee, but the player is reported to be at Tigers.

United have asked the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to grant them permission to sue Tigers.

United’s technical director, Lawson Nakoma, confirmed the development on Sunday, saying the issue was getting out of hand.

“What Tigers are doing is player-tapping. They are blocking every attempt by any interested club to reach the player and we are wondering where they are getting the powers over a player who is not theirs,” said Nakoma.

Part of the letter to Sulom, signed by Nakoma, reads: “We would like to express our disgust with the way Azam Tigers are conducting themselves with regard to our player Dalitso Sailesi. We request Sulom to grant us permission to treat this as a purely business transaction and allow us to seek legal redress.

“It is our responsibility to protect our vested interest in the player. We will wait for five working days from the date of this letter for your response to our request and we will take silence as consent for us to proceed with legal action against Azam Tigers FC.”

However, Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika accused United of trying to force Sailesi to join Bullets.

He confirmed that the player is indeed in their camp.

“Dalitso is indeed with us because that is where his heart is. It is unfortunate that Blantyre United went ahead to process his loan move to Bullets without his consent.

“He does not want to play for Bullets and we hope Sulom will treat the matter with caution for the good of the player’s career,” said Alufandika.

Bullets give up on Sailesi

Apparently, Bullets seem to have given up on Sailesi.

Their general secretary Higger Mkandawire said: “If the player does not want to play for us, then we cannot force him. The issue is now in the hands of his club [United] and Sulom, but the fact remains that he was loaned to us and we will wait and see how Sulom will handle the issue,” said Mkandawire.

Recently, Mkandawire accused Tigers coach Leo Mpulula of using his influence as Sailesi’s former coach to coax him to join Tigers, a claim Mpulula dismissed.

Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they were yet to map the way forward on the issue.

“But according to the records we have, Dalitso was loaned to Bullets by Blantyre United,” said Banda.

Under-20 national team coach John Kaputa said he is not surprised that the clubs are fighting over the player.

“He is skilful, with all absolute essentials of a good winger. He is naturally talented. But I hope the controversy will not affect his career because it will be a big loss to the nation,” said Kaputa.

Sailesi was named one of the outstanding players during last year’s Cosafa Under-20 Tournament in Botswana.

Apart from Sailesi, midfielders Chimango Kaira, James Chilapondwa and striker Heston Munthali are also at the centre of controversy between Escom United and Bullets.

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