Da Gama let off lightly
DETAILS of the investigation into the alleged misconduct against Owen da Gama have emerged this week following his exit from Platinum Stars.
Da Gama parted ways with Stars after he was found guilty on two of the three charges; that of improper misconduct regarding the abuse of alcohol and improper allegation regarding the club or individuals at the club and failure to report improper approaches.
The charges pertained to utterances of interference in his job by individuals in the club, and his disclosure to the media of internal management issues with regard to the budget.
Though Da Gama was cleared on charges of favouritism and that of soliciting money from players, our investigation asuggests to acts misconduct did take place, and that the coach even made a plea for the investigation of the allegation to be dropped by this newspaper.
In a document in possession of Sunday World, an indepedent investigator recommended that the coach be dismissed, as facts had been established.
No ruling, however, could be made on the charge of soliciting money, as no witnesses were called or made available to allow the investigators to question them. This also made it impossible for the parties, including Da Gama, to deal with the substance of what was said, rather than just answering to a newspaper report.
Da Gama also confirmed that he did give an instruction to a certain player, but reasoned it was not to break the other player's leg, but to be hard as football is a "physical game".
He also asked that the charge be dismissed because witnesses relied on hearsay as the player who he allegedly gave the instruction to was no longer with the club and could not be located.
In the statement, the club announced that they had reached an agreement with Da Gama to terminate his contract, but were at pains to point out that an independent investigation into allegations of wrongdoing found no evidence against the coach.
Through his lawyers, Da Gama has insisted there are forces behind the scenes mounting a campaign to tarnish his reputation.
"I have always treated all players equally, but there are always those players who do not really make it at this level who will always have bad things to say about the coach. Not every player is good to make the first team," Da Gama said.
According to a source at the club, the two parties agreed to release a joint statement announcing the parting of ways in order to spare the coach embarrassment.