WINDHOEK – LHU Blue Waters’ early elimination from the country’s flagship knockout cup has claimed its first casualty.
Head coach Paulus “Wire” Shipanga and the club have parted ways but the relationship ended on a sour note with both parties pointing fingers at each other over who was responsible for the actual termination of the working relationship.
The club claims Shipanga has resigned but the former BidVest University winger is denying the claims and accuses the club of being economic with the truth.
“They should tell the truth and not hide behind lame excuses since they were the ones who served me with the letter that terminated my services with immediate effect,” charges Shipanga.
Listen who’s talking! “Thanks a lot for everything guys. But I think its time for me to say goodbye. Am resigning as coach,” reads a text message “verbatim” from Shipanga’s mobile phone.
Insiders revealed to New Era Sport that management was irked by Shipanga’s team selection that led to the club’s early exit from the lucrative BidVest Cup at the hands of Unam.
Sources close to the Birds say club official Hafeni Ndemula, who is also Chairperson of the Erongo Regional Council, arrived unannounced to disrupt the team’s training session on Wednesday. He allegedly pulled Shipanga aside and handed him a notice confirming his axing from all club-related activities with immediate effect.
Taken by surprise, Shipanga apparently sought clarity over his shock axing whereupon a physical scuffle ensued between the two.
Those present on the scene confirmed to New Era Sport that the scuffle turned ugly as the agitated Shipanga tore the letter into pieces before reciprocating the hospitality towards his irritating guest via a “warm klap” prompting his visitor’s spectacles to skydive.
“Why would they serve me with a letter if I was the one who resigned in the first place?
Shipanga was hastily brought in last year, as an auxiliary mentor to replace his namesake Lucky, and admirably managed against all odds staked against him to transform the club’s ailing fortunes.
Approached to shed light on the debacle, Ndemula was cagey about what transpired and could not divulge details other than admitting that there was indeed a disagreement between the parties. He could also not confirm whether charges of assault have been laid against his alleged assailant.
“As it stands, we have not contemplated that route since the matter is still under review by club management but we will obviously pronounce ourselves in due course,” says a clearly embarrassed Ndemula.
Meanwhile, the club has appointed former striker Armando Pedro as head coach until the end of the season. The experienced trio of Knowledge Ipinge, Zico Shaningayamwe and veteran defender Fisher Kalimba will assist the Angolan import on an interim basis.
“Wire”, as Shipanga is referred to in local football circles, almost single-handedly steered the Birds into safety avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth last season. The former youth international and Brave Warriors striker is heavily accredited for having instilled stability into a youthful and relatively inexperienced Blue Waters outfit despite limited resources.