South Africa’s Highlands Park have, for the first time, spoken on how Nyasa Big Bullets defender Miracle Gabeya failed to move to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) at the eleventh hour despite the 20-year-old successfully passing his trials.
Gabeya failed to seal his dream move when Bullets Chairman Noel Lipipa told the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) not to clear the player after discovering that Highlands Park had offered $35,000 and not $7000 as claimed by facilitator Patrick Mabedi.
The clubs’ administrator Sinki Mnisi told the Sowetan newspaper that he sensed something was fishy as Mabedi kept on changing statements.
“When we made an application with the ITC (international transfer certificate) for a clearance, we asked them to confirm what we had offered on the system. And then on our side, SAFA said they had not received anything from the team (Bullets), to concur with what we had offered.
“Now at 11.45pm (on transfer deadline day), I was told by Mabedi that the person who was supposed to log the information on the system is dead. Then we were told by Mabedi to change things and confirm that the player is a free agent and still pay the $35 000. This showed that he was being disloyal,” he said.
However, the former Flames and Bullets captain was quick to deny the allegations claiming that he forwarded e-mails to Bullets officials.
“That is not true. Highlands Park offered $35 000 and I forwarded the e-mails to them (Bullets). I played for Bullets, so that’s why I was helping them. I recommended the players for trials. I do not clear players,” he was quoted by the local media.
According to the e-mail, the two parties had agreed on the asking price, despite Bullets being told the opposite.
The e-mail reads: “(This) serves to confirm that Highlands Park FC accepts Nyasa Bullets asking price of $35000 US Dollars for Miracle Gabeya.”
According to the Sowetan, Mabedi sent this offer to Bullets upon receiving the said e-mail.
Despite all the mist surrounding the deal, Gabeya’s move to the South African side is not yet over. This follows Bullets’ decision to have him released as a free agent so that he is able to join Highlands Park as a free agent and in return, Bullets will pocket the said asking price.
Lipipa is due to fly to South Africa this week for a meeting with his counterparts on Thursday.