By Kevin Mapasure
SOUTH Africa topflight football league giants SuperSport United have parted ways with head coach Kaitano Tembo, replacing him with Bafana legend Andre Arendse on an interim basis until the end of the season.
The club yesterday ended months of speculation over Tembo’s future after they released a statement announcing his departure after the parties reached a “mutual agreement to part ways”.
Arendse was Tembo’s assistant and he will oversee the remainder of the season as the club battles for a higher position of the log standings.
They currently sit ninth after 24 games with Tembo having presided over eight wins while they lost nine and are on 31 points.
The announcement comes just days after the club was eliminated from the Nedbank Cup by second-tier league side TTM with Matsatsantsa on a run of five matches without a win.
“SuperSport United and head coach Kaitano Tembo have reached a mutual agreement to part ways, with assistant coach Andre Arendse appointed to the position for the remainder of the current season,” the statement read.
“Tembo has served the club for 23 years, first as a player in 1999 before moving to a coaching role, serving as an assistant to Gavin Hunt, Stuart Baxter and Eric Tinkler and then taking over as head coach in 2018.”
During his time as coach, Tembo reached two MTN8 Cup finals, winning his maiden trophy against Highlands Park in 2019. Tembo has been a loyal servant of the club and was instrumental in drafting young players from the club’s academy system into the first team.
“Tembo is the epitome of the dedicated club man,” SuperSport chief executive Stan Matthews said.
“It is never easy parting ways but as a true servant, Kaitano has always placed the interests of the club above that of individuals. We are grateful for the role he has played at the club both as a player and coach.”
The club has been linked with Bafana Bafana legend, Benni McCarthy who parted ways with AmaZulu.
Last week when the McCarthy story emerged, Tembo seemed unfazed as he focused on the cup match and improving the team’s results.
“I am not in control of that, all I have to do is to focus on the job at hand. That is the only important thing to me,” Tembo said. “What is being said out there has nothing to do with me, and [yes] anything can happen in football, so it is normal, it happens. As long as I am here, I will keep on giving my best. That is all I can do.”
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