Emotional Andile Mbenyane shocked as Chippa Mpengesi sack him

Chippa United's long-serving player Andile Mbenyane and fellow attacking midfielder Kurt Lentjies have been released by the Port Elizabeth-based Absa Premiership club.

Mbenyane confirmed his exit yesterday, although club COO Lukhanyo Mzinzi said he was doing everything possible to retain the 32-year-old veteran.

March is an odd time of the season to be releasing players, but Chippa United are known to relish to resorting to unorthodoxy, at times.

"Yes, I am leaving the team," said an emotional Mbenyane, who has spent more than a decade with Chippa.

"I was informed on Wednesday. It's not easy for me to talk about this, because I am not okay right now."

Mbenyane said the club had not offered an explanation why they were releasing him.

He joins Lentjies on the exit trail, but Mzinzi denied earlier reports that Diamond Thopola, Thabo Rakhale and Lehlogonolo Masalesa, had also been released.

A source close to the Chilli Boys camp said the trio were given a stern warning by club management to pull up their socks.

When contacted, Thopola refused to offer any comment.

Mzinzi, who was in Johannesburg attending the PSL's board of governors meeting yesterday, said: "I can only confirm Kurt Lentjies's departure. We are still trying to resolve the Andile issue. The rest are staying."

Mbenyane joined the Chilli Boys in July, 2009, from Ajax Cape Town.

The midfielder, who was born in Paarl, has been one of the club's most loyal soldiers, and has been with the team since their days in the National First Division, which is now known as the GladAfrica Championship.

He was the only player remaining from the squad that helped Chippa gain promotion to the PSL for the first time in 2012.

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