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EMBATTLED Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu last night said he was still in charge of the team’s technical bench despite reportedly bidding his players and members of the technical team farewell soon after the embarrassing 1-3 defeat to ZPC Kariba. True to their manager Partson Ndabambi’s words that Highlanders were now an ordinary outfit which does not scare anyone, the electricity producers tore their opponents apart with three well taken goals that left scores of Bosso supporters bewildered on what had hit them.

Even the president of the league Twine Phiri who drove together with his coach Taurai Mangwiro expressed shock at the way Highlanders were dismantled. Phiri though denounced the missile throwing by some Bosso hooligans saying football fans should accept results as they were instead of resorting to violence.

“Playing at home is not a guarantee of winning and our fans should bear that in mind,” said Phiri whose team CAPS United take on Bosso in their next league match.

After staying for more than an hour in the dressing room, speculation became rife that the Zambian had stepped down with even some of his players suggesting the same.

But coming out of the dressing room after holding meetings with his players and members of the technical bench, Kaindu, who was tactically and technically outclassed by his counterpart Saul Chaminuka said he remained in charge of Highlanders.

“I know people are very angry and rightfully so but I am still in charge. My stepping down news are just rumours,” said Kaindu.

However his statement was in sharp contrast with what some of his players and technical bench members portrayed.

“The coach addressed us and said it has been good working with us, yes he did not say exactly that he was stepping down but the notion we got from his address and facial expression was that he was bidding us farewell,” said a player. A member of the technical bench said in a rather unusual way, Kaindu shook their hands just like someone who was about to depart.

“He never said anything but the situation was rather very tense. As it is I am not even sure whether he is still the Highlanders coach,” he said.

For the first time in a long time, Highlanders supporters turned against their own players as the pelted them with stones and empty beer bottles soon after the match.

Both sets of players and officials had to seek refuge at the centre of the field but the missiles rained in on them forcing the riot police to provide a human shield for the players.

“All that these clowns are good is being experts in drinking beer yet we part with our hard earned money to watch them. They drink literally everyday, maybe BancABC should drastically reduce their salaries,” fumed one supporter.

Championship winning coach Rahman Gumbo also had a dig at the players saying their body language did not show a winning mentality.

Gumbo was later besieged by supporters who called for his return to the club.

Police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd while the two teams remained holed in their dressing room for more than an hour.

Celebrated Highlanders juniors coach Ali Baba Dube remained motionless outside Hartsfield Ground together with national team volleyball coach Vulindlela Moyo.

At the clubhouse scores of clearly dejected Highlanders supporters grouped in small cliques discussing what had just hit them some calling for the head of the Zambian while others suggested that chairman Peter Dube should resign instead. Former players Zenzo Moyo and Amin Soma Phiri were among the mourning fans at the clubhouse but they felt there was more to the problem than Kaindu alone.

“I think this problem is more than Kaindu but he alone can come out and say what the problem is,” said Moyo.

The Zambian is on record defending his colleagues as well as the executive members against any interference in his work.

Source : The Herald

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