Mninawa Ntloko Digital sports editor
Luc Eymael has previously coached Polokwane City and Free State Stars in the Premier Soccer League.
Luc Eymael has previously coached Polokwane City and Free State Stars in the Premier Soccer League.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Controversial Belgian coach Luc Eymael’s planned return to SA faces a hurdle after the SA Football Association (Safa) announced that it intends to oppose his application for a work permit at home affairs.

Chippa United stunned the nation’s soccer fans when the Eastern Cape club appointed the Belgian minutes after sacking Lehlohonolo Seema on Wednesday afternoon.

United owner Siviwe Mpengesi’s decision raised eyebrows as the Belgian was fired with immediate effect by Tanzania Premier League side Yanga Africans in July for calling the club’s fans “illiterate and monkeys”.

Safa registered their unhappiness with Mpengesi’s decision in a statement issued after the confirmation of Eymael’s appointment.

“The SA Football Association has learnt with dismay the news of the appointment of the unrepentant racist‚ Luc Eymael as head coach of Chippa United FC‚” Safa said.

“In July this year‚ Safa joined the rest of the progressive world in condemning Eymael after he was fired by Young Africans FC of Tanzania for referring to the club supporters as monkeys and dogs who know nothing about football.

“We find it deeply offensive that as the global football community is united in solidarity around the Black Lives Matter campaign Chippa United FC 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.

“Safa will immediately be writing to the minister of home affairs to express its objection to the granting of a work permit for him.

“We will also request the ethics committees of Fifa and Safa to charge Mr Eymael as his despicable conduct is a violation of the codes of both bodies.”

Eymael‚ who joined Yanga Africans in January from Absa Premiership side Black Leopards‚ is no stranger to controversy and had a frosty relationship with outspoken Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela during his time in SA.

Yanga Africans issued a strongly worded statement in July after the discriminatory and racists comments made by Eymael and said the Belgian must leave the East African country.

“The Yanga Club leadership is saddened by the rude and discriminatory statements made by its coach Luc Eymael and spread on social media‚” the Tanzanian club said at the time.

“Some of those statements by coach Luc Eymael include accusing the fans that they have no education‚ the people in this country are stupid‚ the fans do not know football, their job is to shout like monkeys and ducks‚ club leaders are zero and the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) exists only for Lions.

“Due to these racist statements‚ the Yanga Club leadership has decided to fire coach Luc Eymael from today (27 July 2020) and ensure he leaves the country as soon as possible.”

Yanga Africans management also apologised to the country’s leadership and the public.

“Yanga leadership apologises to the country’s leaders‚ the leadership of the Tanzania Football Federation‚ Lions Club leaders‚ members‚ fans and fans of Yanga‚ as well as the general public for the offensive and insulting statements made by the coach Luc Eymael.

“Yanga Club values ​​and believes in the principles of discipline and dignity‚ and opposes any form of discrimination.”

Eymael has reportedly apologised for his comments and it remains to be seen if he will be allowed to work in SA.

The controversial mentor has coached Leopards‚ Free State Stars and Polokwane City in SA.

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