Martindale gutted by Teto's work permit denial

Scenery Park’s winger Aphelele Teto's work permit was denied by the Governing Body Endorsement panel to play for Scotland side Livingston
GOING PLACES: Scenery Park’s winger Aphelele Teto's work permit was denied by the Governing Body Endorsement panel to play for Scotland side Livingston

As Scottish Premiership team Livingston enter another dark stage of their history after being relegated from their top flight last season, head coach David Martindale wished that he had the services of Scenery Park's winger Aphelele Teto to help his rebuild from the Championship. 

But he can't. The 21-year Teto, who had signed a four-year deal with the Scottish side, was forced to look for a loan move, eventually returning to the Premier Soccer League and joining Eastern Cape side Chippa United for a full season.

This is mainly because the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) panel did not grant Teto a Scottish working permit after his registration was rejected for a second time recently.

Teto joined Livingston from TS Galaxy in 2023 after catching the eye of Martindale in Turkey amid Galaxy's pre-season tour.

At the time the Livingston gaffer said Teto's technical ability was the most unique he had seen in a long time.

“The club is deeply disappointed by the outcome following our recent meeting with a Governing Body Endorsement panel where we were informed that the SFA [Scottish Football Association], once again, weren’t willing to approve Aphelele’s registration despite a thorough presentation put to them by the club,” Martindale said in a statement. 

“Our commitment to the player has been undoubted and given we were confident he could have played a part in our Premiership campaign last season; we were certain he would have had an even bigger involvement for the season ahead.

“As a club, we were left with no option other than trying to find Teto a club for the season coming.

“With his GBE  being refused by the SFA again, I find the process itself incredibly disappointing.

“As a club, we have had the player training with us for a full season and know what Aphelele could bring to the team.

“With relegation to the Championship, we felt that significant change in circumstance would help in our argument to convince the GBE panel that Teto would play for us.

“With no right of appeal on the decision, it was imperative as a club we secured our asset but got the player out playing football which is essential for him at this stage,” he said. 

The diminutive ex-South African U23 player aims to leave the visa issues behind him and concentrate on playing regularly for the Gqeberha team for the next season.

Chippa beat SuperSport United and Cape Town City, who had also shown interest in securing Teto on loan.

According to the player's agent Carlos Mtshamba, the loan to Chippa United for the entire season was a chance for Teto to demonstrate his abilities in his own country.



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