• Ugandan coach unhappy with payment problems at Atraco
ATRACO coach Sam Timbe has questioned the club’s ambitions just days before their Kagame Cup engagements.
The Ugandan tactician, who guided the club to last year’s Kagame Cup title after ousting Sudan’s El Merreikh 1-0 in the final expressed his grief following three months of no payment. Timbe pointed out that such scenario sometimes affect players’ commitments on and off the field.
Atraco players have not been paid their February wages as the club has failed to meet their deadline yet again.
“It is very frustrating for the players and there is little doubt that it has a negative effect on the way they play.”
“And on the look of things, we are not certain when the team will start preparations for the tournament. Much as I have a duty to fulfill as far as defending the title is concerned, it becomes very hard to motivate players who have not been paid for so long,” the former Uganda Cranes assistant coach noted.
Atraco vice president Issa Ngeze admitted to Timbe’s concern but promised that salaries would be paid as soon as possible.
“We are doing everything possible to pay the players and the coaching staff.”
“We hope they will have smiling faces before they embark on their Kagame Cup preps on Wednesday,” the official said.
This year, Atraco have a mountain to climb after being drawn in arguably the toughest group of the tournament.
The reigning champions are placed in Group C together with Kenyan giants Sofapaka, Uganda Revenue Authority and Simba of Tanzania and Timbe believes the side’s chances depend on how well they prepare for the competition.“Our performance will depend on how well we prepare for the competition.”
Heartland of Nigeria heads Group B with Ethiopia’s St. George, Zanzibar’s Mafunzo and Rayon Sport while Group A pits favourites TP Mazembe, APR, Vital’O and Telkom of Djibouti.
The winner will pocket $30, 000 (Rwf17m) while first and second runners-up will walk away with $20,000 (Rwf11.3m) and $10,000 (Rwf5.7m) courtesy of President Paul Kagame.