WINDHOEK – The reported transfer of former FNB Orlando Pirates midfielder Riaan Cloete to Katutura rivals African Stars has hit a snag – resulting in a tug of war between the traditional rivals.
Pirates accuse Stars of conducting their business unprofessionally by allowing a player to train with them while he is still contracted to another fellow Premier League club, without the necessary approval from his original club – in this case Pirates.
Cloete spent the second half of last season on loan to relegated MTC Premiership side Hotspurs, but the veteran pocket-size playmaker who also had a short stint with Ramblers and other clubs in the Angolan topflight league over the last four seasons, resolved to try his luck with the ambitious Reds instead of retreating to his legitimate employers, Orlando Pirates.
“We have noted with keen interest frequent reporting surrounding the imminent transfer of Riaan Cloete to African Stars. To date, Stars have not approached us for the services of the said player and as far as we are concerned, Riaan is still contracted to Pirates for three years,” said an irate Pirates board member.
Pirates would like to avoid a strained relationship with their Katutura rivals while putting the player’s career at stake and humbly requested the Reds hierarchy to do the honourable thing by following the correct channels – if they are serious about acquiring the services of the player.
New Era Sports has it on good authority that Pirates spent a fortune in luring Cloete back to their stable after his stay in Angola.
The club is apparently not prepared to let their prized asset go on the cheap as they look to receive the equivalent of their investment or more by way of a handsome transfer fee for the player, before his move can proceed.