South African side Maritzburg United have axed their Ghanaian defender John Paintsil after the experienced centre-back was declared surplus to requirements at the struggling club but other sources say he was sacked for misconduct.

While there are reports that he has been declared surplus to requirements by coach Ernst Middendorp, the Citizen newspaper claims the Ghanaian was fired because of misconduct.


Paintsil was handed his dismissal letter on Thursday night along with the other senior player in the squad Ashley Hartog even though he has six months left on his contract.

Both players will see their contracts expire in June, with neither expecting to don the team’s colours again under new coach Ernst Middendorp.

“Definitely I will be leaving the club because they have already told me that I’m not in the plans of the coach,” Paintsil told Kickoff.

The Ghanaian adds: “We as professional players need to understand that if the coach says you are not part of his plans I don’t think we should force yourself, because at the end of the day, I know I played my part and when we finished in the top eight for the first time.”

While the official line is the coach not seeking to work with the Ghanaian, a source close to Maritzburg told the Citizen Phakaaathi newspaper that although the reasons for their release have not been made clear yet, it is suspected that it is because of misconduct.

‘The team was concerned about their conduct. They are the ones that organised the parties and would invite the youngsters to stay late into the night. It is suspected that when Mondli (Cele) died recently, he had been out partying with them,’ said the source.

The club’s spokeman, Brian Zuma was not immediately available to comment on the duo’s firing.

Hartog, who skippered the side and played 10 league games this season, says: “I’m not extending my contract again and my contract was expiring at the end of June.

“You see I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to say anything. But I can tell you I won’t be playing for Maritzburg in the next six months.”



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