Kwa-Thema-based football club, XI Experience, who are one of the new boys in the country’s third-tier league, the ABC Motsepe League, are struggling. They are, at the time of writing, sitting rock-bottom (on 16th place), having won just one of their 13 matches so far, with 8 losses and 4 draws, and a goal difference of -9. And still their boss, owner, chairman, or whatever the heck his title is – the name shall remain secret – has the audacity to snub me when I ask for an interview.
It could have been about a month ago when I called him to organize that we meet so we could talk about his decision to be in charge of two clubs simultaneously – the other is called Dream Team and plays in the division below, the SAB League. I can’t remember the exact details of the conversation but what I do remember is that he was supposed to get back to me, but for some reason did not.
And ironically, this is the same guy who used to avail himself whenever I called while he was still fighting for promotion with the same XI Experience, while they were still in the SAB League.
And what’s worse is that this discourtesy seems to be a common habit among the strugglers in the league, because the bottom dwellers’ neighbours, African All Stars, also have a proclivity to speak untruths without shame to the media.
An article I wrote here a while ago details how they concocted the lie that the demoted coach, Themba Zwane, was brought in to be a video analyzer – a myth that he would later debunk live on radio – when it was obvious that he had come in to replace former coach, Mhleli Xaba, who, according to the club’s official statement, resigned from the post. Another lie, if you ask me – he was, in all likelihood, fired.
Zwane himself, after failing to be a hit at the club, cooked up the story that he and the new head coach, Sibusiso Zuma, came to the “agreement” that the latter should lead because Zwane is busy with his “other commitments,” which means his availability at matches is no longer guaranteed. He has been sitting on the bench at every match that I’ve attended ever since.
At the time of writing, Amazozo, as they are affectionately known, are sitting 12th on the log, after winning just three of their first 13, and are just four points clear of the relegation zone. Another irony is that these two teams were scheduled to meet in the KwaTsaDuza derby at the Brakpan stadium this past weekend, in a bottom-of-the-table clash that both needed to win, in what could go a long way in saving at least one of them the ignominy of being relegated.
I wonder if they could have still found themselves in this mess had they had a bit of respect for the media.