By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Former Zimbabwe International and now Mamelodi Sundowns manager Peter Ndlovu was in Harare yesterday not to make merry but clear his name.
Acting Zimbabwe warriors manager Wellington Mpandare has been in the media for the greater of last week, unleashing statements in relations to the on going preparation for Zimbabwe’s match against Liberia this weekend.
Mpandare had incidentally accused Mamelodi Sundowns and its team manager Peter Ndlovu of refusing to release influential Khama Billiat. The midfielder has been injured and actually failed to feature in Sundowns Caf Champions league loss at home to Esperance.
Mpandare had thrown stones all over the place to try and force Sundowns to release Billiat. Certainly by Fifa statutes Sundowns had the obligation to release Billiat for camp to be assessed by the team doctors. Good public relations sometimes helps and the manager could have handled his press runnings better.
It got worse when legendary former Coventry City speedy sensation Peter Ndlovu was suckled into the mudslinging by Mpandare.
A loyal servant to Zimbabwe in his time as player when plied his trade in England. Ndlovu was forced to fly to Harare with Billiat to clear his name. Sundowns who too have a very good relation with Zifa were livid at Mpandare.
Peter Ndlovu had this to say, “I am a Zimbabwean, I love Zimbabwe and I will never let my country down even for a split second and I feel sorry for those who want to smear me with mud,” Ndlovu told the Herald
“I respect the ZIFA president, Chiyangwa, I respect the coach who was there before and I respect the current coach.
“It is, however, very unfair for people to question my loyalty.
“I served this country very well and many times I would leave England after playing a match to come and play another game here straight from the aeroplane. People should understand that football is now scientific and the current crop of players can no longer do it.
“I do not make decisions for Sundowns, but Billiat was injured on the ankle and he has been out. He still needs three to four weeks to recover. I wish there was a miracle that can be done for him to play on Sunday added Ndlovu.
Ndlovu added he would not hold a grudge against Mpandare but felt the Warriors team manager had failed to handle the situation.
“He is my brother and whatever I am saying I am not taking it personal, but I am telling him. He must use a good tone and he must be humble and professional and this must be on record said Ndlovu.
Interestingly, Liberian captain Anthony Laffor who plays with Billiat at Sundowns will not be available to face Zimbabwe this weekend dur to injury but there was no hullabaloo from his country.
Billiat will now return to South Africa to continue with his rehabilitation.