In what may come as shocking news to Mbabane Swallows’ hordes of supporters, newly signed Cameroonian striker Etienne Hiver Massoye has been snatched, literally, right under the nose of the club by Manzini Sundowns.
Information gathered yesterday was to the effect that the player together with his countryman, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, were fetched from their rented room at the Backpackers Lodge by Sundowns officials.
Reports pointed out that, initially, the players were destined to sign for Sundowns, but were diverted to join Swallows on their arrival by a certain individual who was entrusted by their South African agent with the responsibility to look at their welfare and take them straight to the team (Sundowns).
Massoye, who had a storming debut for Swallows as he scored a brace during the 40/40 Celebrations, has apparently already signed a contract with the red and white outfit.
In fact, he was presented as a Swallows’ player on Tuesday after he completed formalities.
The player, interviewed by this newspaper, confirmed that he had signed a one-year contract with Swallows, adding that he was happy to join the Mbabane side.
However, it was gathered that he was infuriated by the reports circulating around that Swallows would not be signing his fellow countryman together with Mozambican national, Joaquim Malate, who has been doing trials.
Apparently, Massoye and his countryman were recommended to Swallows by Malate. These players know each other after their short stint in South Africa while they were looking for teams.
Sundowns’ PRO Sonnyboy Mabuza confirmed yesterday that they had fetched both the players from Mbabane and were currently with the team. Mabuza urged Sundowns’ supporters not to press the panic buttons because the players belong to them.
“We don’t care whether they have signed contracts with Swallows or not. They are our players.
“They are expected to start training with the rest of the squad (tomorrow) today. We are waiting for the release of their international clearance to register them for this season,” the PRO confidently said.
He mentioned that Sundowns arranged for the players’ visas to come into the country.
“If it wasn’t for our initiative and commitment to bring them in the country they wouldn’t be here at all. We are the ones who wrote the letter to Pretoria, South Africa requesting for their visas to enable them to play here.
At the moment, we are waiting for the finalisation of all their documents including the work permits to enable them to get registered,” he stated.
Swallows’ General Manager (GM) Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane expressed his disappointment in the manner Sundowns have handled the issue of the player.
“Massoye has signed with us and is our player. We have unveiled him in front of the nation.
They have no right to take the player away from us in the manner the did. Nonetheless, we are going to address this issue accordingly. But Sundowns must accord us the respect we deserve,” he said.
By Mfanyana Magongo