Aziz Ki turns down offers of African giants as he is expected to join Yanga camp in South Africa

Stephane Azizi Ki

What you need to know:

  • The uncertainty over Aziz Ki’s contract had left the team’s fans and members in suspense, given the significant contributions the player has made in the past two seasons.

Dar es Salaam. Young Africans (Yanga) members and fans can now relax following the news that attacking midfielder Stephane Aziz Ki will join the team’s camp before they face Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa's Toyota Cup.

Yanga will play Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa on July 28, but as of now, Aziz Ki has yet to sign a new contract after his previous one expired. The uncertainty over Aziz Ki’s contract had left the team’s fans and members in suspense, given the significant contributions the player has made in the past two seasons.

Aziz Ki is now a free agent and allowed to join another club of his choice. However, a reliable source from Yanga told The Citizen that the matter has been resolved, and Aziz Ki will join the team soon after his arrival in the country or in South Africa.

He said that the Burkinabe was on the radar of various teams in South Africa, North Africa, as well as outside the continent, but he decided to remain with the Jangwani Street giants.

“Aziz Ki will play for Yanga next season. He will join the team in Tanzania if he arrives before we leave for South Africa. If not, he will join the team in South Africa,” said the source.

The source added that Yanga are now in the final stages of submitting the names of their players to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and the African football governing body (CAF) ahead of the next league season.

“There are only 10 days left before the CAF deadline for registering players who will compete in the CAF Champions League. Aziz Ki is one of our players for the next season,” the source said.

Earlier, Yanga's president, Hersi Saidi, confirmed that the club is making every effort to secure Aziz Ki’s signature, although financial factors could ultimately influence his decision. Hersi highlighted the ongoing efforts in an interview from South Africa, emphasizing the club's determination to retain the talented player.

“It is the club's strategy to ensure the player stays, and negotiations are going well. We are confident we will make an announcement soon, although many clubs are interested in him. Therefore, negotiations are ongoing, and I can say there is a high chance the player will stay, but we have not finalized it yet,” said Hersi.

The president explained that Aziz Ki expressed a desire to remain with Yanga. “You know, I signed him two years ago from Asec Mimosas, and I explained my project and vision to take the club to higher levels, and he became an important part of the program and plan. So, the discussions were the same, and he clearly stated that he wants to stay here and take Yanga to the levels we want it to reach."

However, Hersi also acknowledged the volatile nature of the football business and the potential for financial considerations to alter a player's decision.

Aziz Ki, who hails from Burkina Faso, has been a crucial player for Yanga over the past two seasons. His impressive performances have not only helped the team secure titles but have also made him a standout player in the league. In the last season, Aziz Ki emerged as the top scorer, clinching the golden boot with 21 goals. His goal-scoring prowess and consistent performance have made him an invaluable asset to Yanga.

In his debut season with Yanga in 2022/2023, Aziz Ki played a pivotal role in guiding the team to the final stage of the CAF Confederation Cup. His contributions on the field have earned him admiration from fans and respect from his peers.