Masondo blames Igesund for Bucs exit


Former Orlando Pirates midfielder China Masondo has blamed Gordon Igesund for how his career ended at The Buccaneers.

Masondo signed with Pirates on the same day as Jerry Sikhosana after being recruited by club boss Irvin Khoza from the School of Excellence.

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The Sebokeng-born midfielder left the Soweto giants in 2000 following the arrival of Igesund to join Maritzburg City but 20 years on from his departure, Masondo still has bad memories of working under the former Bafana Bafana coach.

"We were coming from Pietersburg [Polokwane] after playing a friendly against Ria Stars on a Saturday. Gordon took me out at half-time. He spoke to me and said he was surprised why I was not playing at Pirates," Masondo tells

"He promised that he will play me in that season. But a few days later on Tuesday, he called me aside for a meeting and said I was not part of his plans for the season. This surprised me because a few days ago he had told me I was part of his plans for the season. He said if I still want to train with Pirates, I must train with the reserve team.

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"That broke my heart. I was very hurt. Why this guy told me I was part of his plans but a few days later I was not welcome at training? That changed everything, I don't know. Mr Jones [Phil Setshedi] was still a manager at that time. They told me if I have a problem, I must go to the office. That's when I realised that my time at Pirates was over and I went to join Maritzburg City."

Prior to joining the Sea Robbers, Masondo was set to join fellow Soweto outfit Moroka Swallows before Khoza hijacked the deal.

"The chairman spotted me playing for the national team under-17. I was still at the School of Excellence. Initially, I was supposed to join Moroka Swallows. I don't know what happened behind the scenes, I was only told by the late Sipho Dlengezele that I am going to sign for Pirates. That's how the deal happened. I signed the same day with Jerry Sikhosana and reported for training the same day."

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The former Buccaneers midfielder remains unemployed and keeps fit by playing in the legends league in Vaal that also includes the likes of Phiri Tsotetsi and Steve Lekoelea.

"Viktor Bondarenko and Ted Dumitru remain the best coaches to work with at Pirates. They believed in me but for some other reasons I didn't enjoy game-time at Pirates," he concludes.

Other players from Vaal to don the black and white jersey include Avril Phali, Rodney Petlele, Benjamin Mohapelo and Bennett Chenene.

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