Awol Zakri in breach of contract with Maritzburg

Yannick Zakri during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Maritzburg United and Highlands Park at Harry Gwala Stadium in November. The striker has gone awol. /BackpagePix / Samuel Shivambu
Yannick Zakri during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Maritzburg United and Highlands Park at Harry Gwala Stadium in November. The striker has gone awol. /BackpagePix / Samuel Shivambu

Yannick Zakri has not returned to Maritzburg United after the brief Christmas holiday, and is now considered in breach of his contract, with new coach Muhsin Ertugral saying he wants nothing to do with it.

The Ivory Coast international, brought to SA with much fanfare by Pitso Mosimane at Mamelodi Sundowns, but who quickly proved erratic and was soon dropped, joined Maritzburg just after the start of this season on a free transfer.

He had been on loan at Ajax Cape Town for the second half of last season, ironically brought in by Ertugral.

But the coach, whose first game in charge of Maritzburg saw them lose 2-0 at Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday, says he does not want him.

"This is not the behaviour of a professional," Ertugral said.

"If you don't respect your contract, how are you expected then to behave when you are at the club?"

The maverick Zakri, who is presumed to have gone back to his home country, has had previous disciplinary issues and Ertugral said it was a pity he was wasting his talent.

"He could play for any team in the world, that is how talented he is. Maybe over talented!

"He has played in France and with hard work he could have got himself back to Europe. Last season he played six or seven really key games for me at Ajax, so I know what he is capable of. But what he doesn't realise is that your football career is over in the blink of an eye and he is now really wasting his talent."

Ertugral, who has asked his new club to find him a new striker, added: "I cannot accept this kind of behaviour".

Ertugral's debut on Sunday as club coach failed to produce the hoped-for turnaround, with Maritzburg remaining at the bottom of the table.

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