Bucs coach has fears

OUT: An unsmiling Bibey Mutombo. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 19/01/07. © Sowetan.
OUT: An unsmiling Bibey Mutombo. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 19/01/07. © Sowetan.

Sello Rabothata

Sello Rabothata

The beleaguered Bibey Mutombo yesterday quit as coach of Orlando Pirates.

The bombshell was dropped by Bucs chairman Irvin Khoza yesterday as he was watching the final of the Twenty20 Cricket Cup final between India and Pakistan at the Wanderers.

Mutombo, who had been walking on hot coal since his appointment to the hot seat last November, had a one-year contract. The contract was due to end in November.

However, Mutombo, the Democratic Republic of Congo's assistant coach, has not had an easy ride in the Pirates hot seat since taking over from Milutin Sredojevic.

Yesterday, Mutombo, who had only won one league match in this campaign, cited a fear for his life and for his health as reasons for deciding to quit Pirates.

Khoza yesterday accepted the resignation because of the reasons cited by the coach and said he would make an announcement tomorrow on who will take over from Mutombo.

"It is good for us that at least we have time because we do not have a game this weekend," Khoza said.

It has widely been expected that Mutombo was on his way out when Khoza announced the employment of former Under-23 and Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim "Shakes'' Mashaba as technical director two months ago.

Mutombo himself had arrived at Pirates in similar fashion and ended up being head coach when Sredojevic quit after a disastrous campaign.

Salt was added to the wound when Lamontville Golden Arrows pierced the Buccaneers' defence at the weekend, inflicting a 2-1 defeat on the Soweto giants.

After that game Pirates supporters called on Mutombo to resign and leave the Bucs ship.