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Maduka: We Are Feeling The FIFA Ban

  • May 8, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Maduka: We Are Feeling The FIFA Ban

Royal AM coach John Maduka has highlighted the challenges his squad faces due to a lack of signings during the transfer windows.

“We didn’t bring in any new players during the off-season or the January window,” Maduka explained. “This is impacting the team, especially considering the FIFA ban.”

Maduka made these comments following Royal AM’s 1-0 home defeat to bottom-placed Cape Town Spurs at Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday. This loss marked their third consecutive defeat at home, with the team failing to score in any of those matches while conceding six goals.

The defeat dropped Royal AM to 14th in the DStv Premiership table with 29 points after 26 games. They hold a six-point advantage over 15th-placed Richards Bay and an 11-point lead over last-placed Spurs, although Spurs have played one game more.

“You have to remember that we haven’t signed any new players,” Maduka emphasized. “This is the squad we have to work with. We lack experience compared to previous seasons. Players like Thabo Mahlaba and maybe Kabelo Mahlasela have played consistently, but there aren’t many of them.”

“Most of our players are accustomed to playing one, two, or three games at most. They’re not used to the demands of playing 23, 24, or 25 games in a season. We’re relying heavily on players who previously came on as substitutes. Now that we need them to play week in, week out, it’s creating inconsistency in our performances.”

“The FIFA ban is particularly challenging,” Maduka continued. “We’re feeling it because of the lack of seasoned campaigners in the squad. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it. We train well, but things fall apart on match days.”

Royal AM’s struggles this season stem, in part, from a FIFA ban imposed at the beginning of the campaign. The club was found guilty of failing to pay striker Samir Nurkovic, who was released without ever playing a game for them.

This issue was compounded by a similar case involving defender Ricardo Nascimento, who successfully appealed to FIFA’s tribunal. Royal AM disputes Nascimento’s claim, insisting he was paid his salary before leaving at the end of last season. However, Nascimento maintains he did not receive the full payment.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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