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Asu’s ‘death’ mystery

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The alleged death of former Be Forward Wanderers’ Cameroonian striker, Lionel Asu, remains a mystery with no official confirmation yet.

Three weeks after he broke the news, Prince Jere, is left with a huge task to substantiate the death as the Cameroonian Football Association and the striker’s agent, Flavien Tchoumbu, and even Wanderers are simply in the dark.

Jere, who once represented Asu, claimed that he learnt about the death from the player’s agent, who when The Daily Times contacted him recently, said he was unaware as he had not been in touch with Asu for some months.

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Last week Thursday, Wanderers’ general secretary Mike Butao insisted there is nothing suggesting Asu, who during his stint turned himself into a darling at the Lali Lubani Road after netting thrice in some four games, is dead.

“On June 21 his twitter account handle showed that he was already dead and people even sent condolences, yet I talked to Asu on July 11 2015 when he called me from Cameroon through the Wanderers’ vice-team manager [Steve Madeira],” Butao explained in his personal capacity.

In an interview with Malawi News and several media outlets locally, Jere claimed that Asu died of malaria in Cameroon where he had returned after successful trials in South Africa at Golden Arrows FC.

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Yet, last week, Arrows’ media officer, Kanu Vilakazi, said Asu did not undergo trials at the National First Division side.

“The only player we had from Cameroon was a left winger who went back after failing trials,” Vilakazi said.

Cameroon is a big country with thousands of footballers, but if indeed Asu had returned to Cameroon to process his transfer to Arrows, then may be, the Cameroon FA should have been aware of the death.

Yet, in an e-mailed response to Malawi News, Cameroon FA spokesperson, Mouandjo Jean- Jacques, said “we do not have any information concerning the death of the player Lionel Asu.”

Fam facility and transfer matching system manager, Casper Jangale, cleared the striker from Thailand FA where he last played club football and he too is on the guard.

“The only evidence we had about his nationality as Cameroonian was his passport, but if it transpires that he has changed a name then we may have to report to Fifa. I am not implying he has though,” Jangale said on Thursday.

He said that in the fast-moving football world, stories of players changing their nationality in order to feature for other national teams are so common. For now, the story of Asu’s death remains a subject of theories and mysteries.

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