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Lions of the North rope in police over trial scam

Highlands Park shareholder Sinky Mnisi.
Highlands Park shareholder Sinky Mnisi.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Highlands Park club director Sinky Mnisi says they have reported the matter of a scam over supposed club trials to police authorities.

One Shunmugam Perumal Naicker on Sunday tweeted a message inviting aspirant soccer players to Esselenpark in Kaalfontein where Highlands Park were supposedly to hold trials from 9am until 4pm this Sunday.

Naicker claimed players would require R2500 to register.

The tweet reads: "Trials will be conducted and administered by head coach Owen Da Gama alongside his technical team and MDC team head coach Willem Jackson."

It added: "We are inviting players from all provinces and all interested individuals. We urge all hopefuls to make use of this opportunity, it might just change their entire life. Accommodation is available for all players coming from outside Gauteng. For trials assessment/ contract/ development registration contact Mr Sinky Mnisi, shareholder and director at Highlands Park."

Mnisi said he was alerted about the tweet and he immediately dialled the number provided.

"I pretended as if I was interested in bringing a player for trials. A Naicker confirmed October 21 as the date, Esselenpark as the venue and he said I must send him a WhatsApp contact number so that he can send me application forms and his bank details so that I deposit the money required to be part on the trials," said Mnisi.

"We have reported the matter with the police in Tembisa. But I want to warn our people not to be fooled by that message because it has absolute nothing to do with Highlands Park. This guy says our coach Owen Da Gama will be involved yet on October 20 we will be in Durban for our league match against Maritzburg United. We do not know the person and we will have no trials. This is a pure scam. Even when we have trials, we never charge aspirant footballers not even a cent."

Sowetan called the number and the scam continues unabated. "Our offices are at Balfour Park. You need to deposit R2500 so that I send you the registration forms. Our Mobile Sports Agency is in Sandton," we were told by the apparent fraudster.

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