It was reported two days ago in The Citizen supplement “Phakaaathi” that all was not well within the Orlando Pirates camp before the second leg final of the CAF Confederation Cup between the Buccaneers and Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia. According to the paper, coach Eric Tinkler had a training ground burst up with centre-half Rooi Mahamutsa, but the pair kissed and made up just in time for the trip to north Africa. Tinkler has now come out and categorically denied this, calling for factual reporting in the media: ‘Where do these things come from, gents? It’s you guys. You are the ones creating these rubbish stories. They’re coming from you.’
Tinkler, a subject of much speculation in recent times with regards to his future at the helm of the Sea Robbers, seems to think he’s being targeted by some sections of the media. He says: ‘Every week it seems to be new ones. They keep coming and it’s wrong.’
He continued his rant to say: ‘The whole Rooi Mahamutsa thing is not a rumour. It’s a lie. There’s a difference between a rumour and a lie. You must be truthful here because you’re playing with people’s lives. Don’t invent stories. Make sure you’ve got your facts right.’ Mahamutsa did travel with the team but played no part as he was named on the bench in the 1-0 defeat to the Tunisians, who were crowned champions after an aggregate score of 2-1.
The coach says he is yet to have a meeting with the club’s bosses to discuss his future, but made it quite clear that he’s not about to vacate his post: ‘I’ll never quit. I’ve never been a quitter in my life. Currently I’m the head coach of Orlando Pirates and that’s where I remain.’
Photo credit: Nick Lourens