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Yanga provides sensational twist in Luc Eymael debacle as the Tanzania side disputes claims

Luc Eymael.
Luc Eymael.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Tanzania side Young Africans FC have said that Luc Eymael not only called their fans “monkeys” in an interview but also shouted the racist term at supporters.

 The club‚ popularly known as Yanga‚ provided yet another twisted to the furious furore surrounding the controversial Belgian as they flatly denied the coach’s claim that an infamous audio clip of the interview was “doctored”.

 Chippa United on Monday attempted to hire former Free State Stars coach Eymael as technical director‚ but backtracked under media‚ public and political pressure on Tuesday.

The coach claimed in interviews with Robert Marawa’s radio Worldwide Sports show‚ and earlier on Tuesday with TimesLIVE‚ that an audio where Eymael calls Tanzanian football fans “uneducated” and like “monkeys and dogs” was doctored from a conversation surreptitiously recorded at a dinner.

 A high-placed source at Tanzanian club Yanga confirmed to TimesLIVE that the recording was done by a journalist in an interview‚ pulling Eymael aside after the post-match press conference to a 1-1 draw against Mtibwa Sugar‚ soon before the coach was fired in July 2020.

The source‚ who did not want to be named‚ said the question arose because Eymael had‚ at the end of the match‚ shouted at supporters that they were “like monkeys”.

 The chairman of Young Africans‚ Mshindo Msolla‚ also told TimesLIVE that Eymael had directly addressed fans by that racist term.

In a WhatsApp message to TimesLIVE‚ Msolla said Eymael had even threatened hotel staff that he had “mastered karate”.

 “Yanga had the worst experience with Luc Eymael for the short stay he was with the club (six months)‚” Msolla wrote.

 “He never had a good working relationship with the club leadership‚ his assistants on the technical bench and‚ as if that was not enough‚ even with the service providers such as hotel staff‚ threatening them that he masters karate‚ thus he should not be taken for granted.

 “The club management decided to bear with him until the end of the league. Luc’s behaviour‚ which couldn’t be tolerated any more‚ not only by the club but the government also‚ is when he showed a racism act when during a league match and immediately after the match‚ before entering the changing rooms‚ he told the Yanga spectators in a fully packed stadium that THEY WERE SHOUTING LIKE MONKEYS!!!!!

 “That statement disturbed the government‚ Yanga leaders and fans and Tanzanians at large that the attitude will not be accepted. The club had no other alternative but sacking him.

 “The world knows and Africa knows very well how Tanzania fought against racism wherever it happened. No wonder it hosted all freedom fighters from Mozambique‚ Angola‚ South Africa‚ Zimbabwe and Namibia‚ for their combatants to have their training in Tanzania and building their political parties.”

 Chippa had released a statement on Tuesday confirming they would not appoint Eymael.

The club‚ though‚ also made several startling accusations against the media‚ especially public broadcaster the SABC‚ and Marawa in particular‚ claiming their coverage had effectively forced the club’s decision.

 The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had added their voice against the appointment.

Reached by TimesLIVE on Tuesday afternoon Eymael was asked if he felt the politicisation of Chippa’s attempted appointment was fair or unfair.

 “It’s very unfair because Chippa have been under pressure after Marawa’s show yesterday‚ and all the things that he said also‚ and the clip that he’s doing like propaganda‚” Eymael said‚ referring to Marawa’s radio show on Monday where the host replayed the infamous audio clip of Eymael’s rant in Tanzania.

 “It’s a false audio clip‚ completely remixed‚ and it’s not coming from any press conference‚ not coming from any radio interview‚ not coming from any private interview.

“It has been taken illegally by someone when we were eating with‚ with my fitness coach Riedoh [Berdien] – who’s the fitness coach of [Mamelodi] Sundowns and Banyana Banyana. And I was also sitting at the dinner with Fareed Cassiem‚ the South African physio who was working at Yanga.

 “It’s the doctor of Yanga who [recorded] the conversation without authorisation‚ and if you can analyse the clip – because I took it back to Belgium and had it analysed – there are cuts everywhere.

 “And I have a clip where you don’t hear the racist words. And he [the alleged Yanga team doctor] cut it‚ where he put the racist words.

 “How I know ... [was] the doctor‚ and the team manager‚ the second-last game already knew they would be fired because we were not happy about them. So the club contacted them and told them they would be fired for the new season. So he wanted revenge‚ but he did it very badly and very illegally.”

Eymael said Berdien was later released by Yanga‚ but Cassiem retained.

“So the doctor has been fired at the end of that [2020] season. When Fareed Cassiem returned there it was already a new season. And after some weeks they [Yanga] didn’t find a new doctor‚ so they [re] appointed this famous Tanzanian doctor.

 “And this guy was so proud to show to Fareed what he did. That is how I learned‚ and have been informed that this doctor took that. He said‚ ‘Look‚ [this is] how I did‚ how I did’.”

Eymael added: “If the Fifa ethics committee cleared my name it is because they analysed the clip and it is a false clip.”

 The coach was asked for the name of the team doctor‚ but responded: “I don’t remember his name. Really‚ I don’t remember his name.”

 On Marawa’s show on Tuesday Eymael said the words “monkeys” and “dogs” were recorded by the team doctor while driving with the coach on a road with animals beside it.

The coach was asked if he could WhatsApp the sound clip in his possession that he claimed was not doctored‚ and did not contain the words “monkeys and dogs”.

He did WhatsApp a clip‚ which was the same audio clip played on Marawa’s show‚ and widely available on social media platforms such as YouTube‚ but which stopped short of the part containing the racist terms.

Berdien‚ now back in the employ of Sundowns‚ could not be reached for comment.

The club’s media department also said they could not avail him for a matter not related to Sundowns. Cassiem is believed to be back working with Yanga in Tanzania.


The full clip of Eymael’s racist rant in Tanzania

Luc Emyael Young Africans Sports Club head coach calling Tanzanian uneducated and Yanga fans monkeys who do not understand anything about football.