Eastern Cape government slams Mpengesi's decision to hire controversial Eymael as Chippa coach

24 December 2020 - 09:54 By Alvin Reeves
Chippa United owner-chairman Siviwe Mpengesi has been condemned from all fronts, including by the government, for his decison.
Chippa United owner-chairman Siviwe Mpengesi has been condemned from all fronts, including by the government, for his decison.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Eastern Cape provincial government (ECPG) has slammed Chippa United’s appointment of coach Luc Eymael because of the Belgian’s “racist and offensive remarks” at a previous club.

The controversial Eymael was named as the Port Elizabeth club’s new coach on Wednesday‚ only 24 hours after they sacked Lehlohonolo Seema.

But the appointment has been met with widespread condemnation including from the ECPG and the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) mother body‚ Safa.

In July‚ Eymael was fired by Young Africans FC of Tanzania for referring to the club supporters as “monkeys and dogs who know nothing about football”.

It is against this background that the ECPG on Thursday questioned how the club could consider bringing the former Black Leopards and Free State Stars coach on board.

“The Eastern Cape provincial government is concerned that Chippa United Football Club has appointed Luc Eymael as their head coach even though they know about the racist and offensive remarks he made about black people supporting his former club‚” their statement read.

“South Africa is founded on principles of human dignity‚ achievement of equality‚ advancement of human rights‚ freedoms and non-racialism.

“We therefore cannot have a soccer coach who behaves in a manner that is contrary to these values.”

The statement went on to say that Eymael’s remarks had no place in South African society especially one that has the backing of the Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City municipalities.

“We don’t think a football club playing in our professional soccer league and a club that is financially supported by the municipalities of the Eastern Cape government should be coached by an unrepentant racist spewing offensive and derogatory statements about other human beings.

“It is more disturbing that the owner of Chippa United‚ Siviwe Mpengesi does not see anything wrong with the racist and offensive remarks made by Eymael against black people who support the former club he coached.

“Mpengesi should fully understand the pain caused by racism.

"We expected him to be in the front line of fighting against racism to defend the dignity of people insulted by Eymael in that racist and offensive statement he made.”

Safa made their intentions clear on Wednesday evening.

“We find it deeply offensive that as the global football community is united in solidarity around the Black Lives Matter campaign‚ Chippa United would see it fit to hire such a character to work in the city named after the founding father of the nation‚ Tata Nelson Mandela‚ the champion of a world free of racism and other forms of discrimination‚” said the soccer body’s statement.

“Safa will immediately be writing to the Minister of Home Affairs to express its objection to the granting of a work permit for him.

“We will also request the Ethics Committees of Fifa and Safa to charge Eymael as his despicable conduct is a violation of the codes of both bodies.”

Mpengesi opted not to comment when approached on Thursday.