Joaquim Lupeta of Ajax Cape Town battles for the ball with Tshepo Gumede of Cape Town City FC during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Ajax Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 23 September 2016 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Friday Dec 30, 2016. 10:30
Ajax Cape Town have reached a mutual agreement with both Kenyan international Ali Abondo and Portuguese striker Joaquim Lupeta to release them from their current contracts at the club.
Abondo was signed by Roger de Sa at the end of last season and featured in three games for the Urban Warriors. The midfielder is yet to make an official appearance this season largely due to injury and stiff competition for a place in the team.
Lupeta, who is Portuguese but of DRC decent and joined from Bidvest Wits earlier in the season, has also struggled to find regular game time with the likes of Nathan Paulse and Prince Nxumalo ahead of him in selection.
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Ajax Cape Town CEO, Ari Efstathiou has explained his decision to part with the two players and wishes them well for the future.
“Abondo has been extremely unfortunate with injury and now has strong competition for his play-making position in the middle of the park, especially after the signing of Zambian international Roderick Kabwe which will see him down the pecking order if he stayed,” said Efstathiou on the club’s official website.
“Coach Stanley Menzo also believes it is in Abondo’s best interest that the club allows him to leave.
“Lupeta wants game time and he is unlikely to get much of that with the form both Paulse and Nxumalo are showing in attack.
“His contract finishes at the end of June and after discussions with him he has decided to leave because he wants to play more. He is heading back to Portugal.”
“Another fact behind agreeing on their departures was that they occupied two of the five foreigner spots allowed. In order for Kabwe to sign we would have had to release one foreigner to free up a spot, but due to both leaving we now have two spots available of which Kabwe fills one.
“We are also currently in negotiations with another foreign attacking player to join in the January transfer window.
“Unfortunately in soccer some opportunities come and some don’t. In this instance they didn’t get a chance, but they will do well wherever they go as they are both talented players. We wish the well on their next journey and hope, that to some extent, Ajax Cape Town has contributed to their future careers.”