AmaZulu FC ‘drinking culture’ the ramblings of aggrieved individuals

The assertions that players and officials at Durban-based football outfit AmaZulu had a habit of arriving at training late and intoxicated are the ramblings and delusions of aggrieved individuals. 

This was the scathing response by the club owner, Sandile Zungu, in an exclusive interview with Sunday World this week as he responded to damning allegations made by the former community relations officer at the club, Phumlani Dube.

Dube, who unceremoniously parted ways with uSuthu in January following allegations of assaulting a female employee, tore down on club management, players and officials, saying they had an entrenched culture of  heavy drinking. The much-publicised rant led to charges of slander being filed against Dube.

Zungu came out guns blazing, saying the club’s brand was too strong to be perturbed by baseless allegations. “Recently, we had situations where former employees were slanderous, making unsubstantiated allegations that there is a drinking culture in the team,” he said.

Although conceding that the team could have one or two players who are bottle heavy, Zungu explained it didn’t amount to a culture.

“Let’s face it, in any soccer team you go to in the PSL they will tell you of abuse of alcohol among one or two players. Sometimes because of overexcitement outside the field, which may put the team into disrepute. AmaZulu is not an exception.

“We have one or two accounts where players were out of line, but it does not amount to a culture [of abuse],” said Zungu.

Zungu also took the time to clarify the rumours linking Manqoba Mngqithi to the head coach position – currently under the tutelage of Ayanda “Cobra”  Dlamini, the former uSuthu striker.

“I would not hide. Manqoba is the coach we would like to have and we believe he can add a lot of value. But in all fairness, he is not our property. He belongs to Sundowns and we must respect that,” he said. 

Mngqithi was demoted and relegated to senior coach last year in October, raising speculations that he was on his way out of Masandawana.

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