Makola claims CT City release followed non-attendance of a cricket match

Makola claims CT City release followed non-attendance of a cricket match

Former Cape Town City midfielder Mpho Makola has claimed the club terminated his contract in January after he was unavailable to attend a cricket match with the rest of the squad.

City announced a day before the mid-season transfer window closed that the 36-year-old was being offloaded midway through the season. 

The club still had an option to extend Makola’s contract by another year, but instead took drastic measures to cut his stay short.

“It caught me by surprise, on the last day of the window period,” the player told sports show host Andile Ncube on Metro FM’s Sport Night Amplified.

“I got a call to come to the office, where I found the chairman [John Comitis] and the coach [Eric Tinkler] – and I already knew what was going to happen.

"We had a good relationship, hence, when the news came out that I am leaving the team, the guys, led by captain Thami Mkhize, stopped training and asked for an explanation.”

The “explanation”, Makola claims, was that he’d failed to join the City squad at a cricket match in Cape Town. 

“I think everything changed when I didn’t attend the cricket match. I couldn’t attend because I had a meeting with my lawyer – I think everything switched after that with the coach.

"I won’t say the chairman. Tinkler took me out of the 18-man team, and when I asked why he told me about the cricket match I did not attend. I was puzzled by it because I am here to play football, not cricket, and I have been doing my job on the pitch.” 

Makola added that Tinkler initially told him he would miss one match, but “the next thing I know I am being released from the contract.” 

He says the official word on the day his services were terminated was that, with City not likely to qualify for Caf tournaments next season, it was the opportune time to build the team with younger players. 

“But in my head, I was thinking ‘okay, I am good enough for Caf, but not good enough for PSL, is that what you are saying?’ They couldn’t show me my stats, because they are probably still the highest in the team.” 

Polokwane City midfielder Mpho Makola

Makola, who made 15 appearances for City this campaign, has since joined Polokwane City in the Motsepe Foundation Championship and could return to the topflight in a few months’ time with the Limpopo outfit currently top of the table in the second tier.