The French tactician has vehemently denied claims he is frustrating the Rwandan striker with playing time at the Msimbazi giants
Simba SC coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa has rubbished reports from agent Patrick Gakumba that he has “personal issues” with striker Meddie Kagere hence the reason he did not play in their Caf Champions League tie against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.
The Amavubi star’s Rwanda-based agent claimed in a recorded audio video on Tuesday the Msimbazi giants should hold the French tactician responsible for the team’s exit from the competition after they lost 4-3 on aggregate to the Soweto giants.
Simba’s fairytale run was ended at the quarter-final stage after losing the quarter-final first leg match 4-0 away at FNB Stadium in South Africa before winning the return leg 3-0 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.
Gakumba then claimed after the game coach Da Rosa should squarely be held accountable for the exit owing to his decision not to start Kagere alongside striker John Bocco, who scored two goals during the home win.
Da Rosa has answered Gakumba by stating he does not have any issues with Kagere and further said he was not ready to talk about the personal attacks from Gakumba.
What did he say?
“I don’t want to talk anything to do with Patrick [Gakumba] because I don’t know anything about what he is complaining about, I don’t know what he is saying,” Da Rosa said.
“I don’t have any personal problems with [Kagere], three weeks ago I talked to all my three strikers in the squad, Kagere, Bocco, and Chris [Mugalu], and I told them they should accept my decision on how to rotate them, there is a time Bocco will play, there is a time Kagere will play and there is also time for Mugalu to play.
“I also told them there is a time I will be forced to play two strikers and for example the game against Mwadui FC, Kagere started and then Bocco came in later.
“I have not heard any complaints from my players and they all know clearly if they want to raise any concerns, they know the door to walk to, they know where my door is, they know where to find me, and it is wide open for them to come to talk to me, instead, of approaching their managers.
“Everyone knows Kagere is doing a good job, and I don’t have any problem with him or any player at Simba.”
In the audio, Gakumba said: “Let me tell you writers of football, especially those asking me why Meddie [Kagere] did not play in the game against Kaizer [Chiefs] at Mkapa Stadium, and I have to say Kagere did not play because the coach did not want him to play, the coach is the one with powers to decide which player plays, who does not.
“But the truth of the matter is that I know where the problems [of Kagere not playing] started, you know I have known Da Rosa for a very long time, and he is a person if I openly state it, he is not doing a good thing, and it will bounce back to him, like the rest of coaches, who do the same things to players.
“This is because Simba played a very good game and they had the game in their hands, they had a chance to progress to the next round but the one who caused Simba to exit the Champions League is the coach himself, I don’t want to lie, it is Da Rosa, he is the one who bundled them out.
“There is no one who did not see that Bocco was the top striker of the day, he was on top and he needed someone else to help him to push for goals, and it seems the striker who started alongside him, Chris [Mugalu], the game was not on his side, he was struggling.”
After the exit, Simba shifted their focus to retaining the Mainland Premier League title where they are currently tied on 61 points on the 18-team table with rivals Yanga SC, but they have played four matches fewer, while Azam FC are third with 60 points from 30 matches.