Last weekend, several social media sites’ reports claimed that Yanga players were disgruntled and are on a go slow due to delays in payment.
The reports indicated that some players declined to train in protest.
Bumbuli termed the reports as baseless and explained that a group of players and the technical bench had to attend a function organized by one of the club’s commercial partners and, so, it was thought best to cancel Saturday’s training session.
“The team did not train on Friday because of a special program and there is nothing like a go slow as reported. There was a timetable clash, our technical bench had different programs to what the players had,” he said.
“One of our partners had a function which was to be attended by a group of players and the technical bench, so it was agreed to give players a rest from training.”
Moreover, Bumbuli, who was recently appointed to replace Dismas Ten, assured fans and members that the team’s training program has been running smoothly as they continue to plot on edging Zambia’s Zesco United out of the first round of this season’s CAF Champions League.
The operation is dubbed ‘Twenzetu Ndola, Tukapindue Meza Kibabe.’
“We assure fans and members our training sessions are going on smoothly as planned and so far so good. Some players who were injured have fully recovered and back in training. We believe if they are declared match fit they will be used against Zesco United,” he noted.
Issa Bigirimana, who is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, has reportedly returned to team training. Mapinduzi Balama, who limped off after receiving a knock just towards the end of the first leg game against Zesco United, will have to undergo a late fitness test but head coach Mwinyi Zahera is optimistic he will be available for the return leg on Saturday.
After a one-all home draw with Zesco in the first leg of the premier continental club competition, Yanga face a tall order as they bid to progress to the lucrative group stage of the tournament.
Either a minimum of 2-2 draw or victory will see them reach the tournament’s groups’ stage for the second time.
In case the Mainland Tanzania Premier League record champions fail to overcome Zesco United, they will participate in a playoff for qualification for the CAF Confederation Cup groups’ stage.
The playoff will see Yanga confront one of clubs, which will emerge as aggregate winners of the CAF Confederation Cup first round duels.
Yanga dispatched Botswana’s Township Rollers in the preliminary stage of the tournament to secure qualification for the first round of the premier continental club tournament.
Yanga and Township Rollers settled for 1-1 draw in the first leg clash and the former, against all odds, cruised to 1-0 win over the Botswana champions in the return leg in Gaborone.
Ugandan striker, Juma Balinya, drilled in the lone goal for Yanga to earn them the memorable victory.
Zesco cruised to 3-0 aggregate victory over Eswatini outfit, Green Mamba, in the preliminary stage to secure progression to the first round.
Zesco recorded 2-0 win over Green Mamba in the first leg in Manzini, the Zambia big guns thereafter notched 1-0 win over their opponents in the second leg in Lusaka.