Embattled 'Chippa' Mpengesi withdraws the appointment of controversial coach Luc Eymael

Chippa United owner-chairman Siviwe Mpengesi was left with a stinking egg on his face.
Chippa United owner-chairman Siviwe Mpengesi was left with a stinking egg on his face.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Chippa United bowed to public and government pressure on Thursday by withdrawing the appointment of controversial coach Luc Eymael.

The Belgian’s appointment had drawn widespread condemnation from the Premier Soccer League's (PSL) mother body Safa‚ local government and social media because of his “racist and offensive remarks” made at a previous club.

In July‚ Eymael was fired by Young Africans FC of Tanzania for referring to the club supporters as “monkeys and dogs who know nothing about football”.

Eymael was named as the Chippa’s new coach on Wednesday‚ only 24 hours after they sacked Lehlohonolo Seema.

Chippa boss Siviwe Mpengesi initially defended Eymael’s appointment on national radio on Wednesday evening but ultimately was forced to swallow his pride and embarrassingly reverse his decision.

Chippa United have a history for hiring and firing coaches but Eymael’s tenure with the Port Elizabeth side will go down as the shortest ever stay . . . less than 24 hours.

"The club would like to formally announce that it has withdrawn the appointment of Belgian‚ Luc Eymael‚" a statement read on Thursday afternoon.

"When processes are complete‚ a new coaching announcement will be made in due course.

"After having announced Eymael's appointment the club has considered public outrage.

"There was also the reputational damage caused to our brand; and that of our stakeholders‚ partners as well as our sponsors.

"We would like to clarify that the initial decision to make this appointment was based on Eymael's coaching track record‚ where we felt he was the best person to take the club towards our desired top half finish in this DStv Premiership season.

"Outside of the written reports‚ there was no formal instruction – to us or to any other team- to not employ Eymael."

"However‚ as the Pride of Eastern Cape‚ we represent the legacies of world renowned anti-discrimination heroes that come from our province.

"The Chilli Boys play an influential role to our surrounding communities through football and through our philanthropic work.

"We have people that look up to us and on the responsible decisions that we take.

"Our withdrawal of this appointment is an acknowledgment of our stance on such matters‚ with the club also having fully informed Eymael and his representatives on our position."

Earlier on Thursday‚ Eastern Cape provincial government (ECPG) slammed the appointment of the Belgian.

“The Eastern Cape provincial government is concerned that Chippa United has appointed Luc Eymael as their head coach even though they know about the racist and offensive remarks he made about black people supporting his former club‚” their statement read.

The statement went on to say that Eymael’s remarks had no place in SA society especially one that has the backing of NMB and Buffalo City municipalities.

“We don’t think a football club playing in our professional soccer league and a club that is financially supported by the municipalities of the Eastern Cape government should be coached by an unrepentant racist spewing offensive and derogatory statements about other human beings.”

Safa made their intentions clear on Wednesday evening.

“We find it deeply offensive that as the global football community is united in solidarity around the Black Lives Matter campaign‚ Chippa United would see it fit to hire such a character to work in the city named after the founding father of the nation‚ Tata Nelson Mandela‚ the champion of a world free of racism and other forms of discrimination‚” said the soccer body’s statement.

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