Cameroonian goalkeeper Tignyemb vows to continue playing

Amour Patrick Tignyemb
Amour Patrick Tignyemb spent 11 years at South African club Bloemfontein Celtic before his contract was terminated.

Cameroon keeper Amour Patrick Tignyemb wants to continue playing in a competitive league despite the termination of his contract at Bloemfontein Celtic.

The South African club and Tingyemb have differing versions of why he lost his job.

He was sacked with just one match left this season having kept 11 clean sheets in his previous 26 games.

"I'm only 33, I know I have some years ahead of me. I want to continue playing and making fans happy," he said.

"I've had several offers but I want to reflect on these before making a decision.

"Celtic owes me some money and I expect them to pay. Also the player's union is aware of what happened. I've also spoken to my lawyers.

"Despite recent events, I'm grateful to Celtic fans. They've been supportive and made me feel at home. I rejected offers to move to Europe because I felt I was with people who genuinely loved and cared about me."

Tignyemb, who represented Cameroon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, played a total of 326 games for Celtic since joining them in 2008.

The club insists he was sacked for his 'attitude', but Tignyemb believes it was because he stood up for his teammates over a payment issue.

"As a captain I have to protect my team. The players decided to strike because the club owed us outstanding bonuses but I convinced them to train," he told BBC Sport.

"We were able to get 10,000 Rand (US$700) and the club had promised to pay 15000 Rand (US$1,050) later.

"We held talks with club officials and everything was getting back to normal until the players were threatened with pay cuts and contract terminations if they didn't train.

"I told the club's CEO that if things weren't settled as agreed, we wouldn't train or play our last league game. Barely an hour later, my contract was cancelled.

"I have served this club for 11 years. I was also the captain. It's shocking to see this happen. I feel disrespected but I have no regrets because I was doing the right thing for my mates."

Celtic's Chief Executive Officer Khumbulani Konco has responded to Tignyemb's claims by telling BBC Sport that the goalkeeper was sacked for his unruly behaviour.

"We didn't terminate Tignyemb's contract because of the players' strike or the current situation. He came to see me and was cursing and saying terrible things. We are a respected club and we couldn't condone such an attitude," Konco said.

"He's the club's captain and has to be a model for the younger players.

"We felt that his attitude didn't represent the values of the club and we decided to part ways with him."

Konco, however, admitted that Bloemfontein Celtics previously faced some financial troubles that have now been settled.

"It's true we've had some financial difficulties and this made it difficult for certain things to be done. But this has been sorted out and the team is ok," he insisted.

Bloemfontein Celtics wrapped up the 2018-2019 South African Premier soccer league with a 3-1 win over Amazulu leaving them eighth in the 16-team league, 19 points behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

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