Official: Stephane Aziz Ki decides to stay at Yanga

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jul 11 2024
Aziz Ki
Photo: Courtesy of Yanga
Aziz Ki

STEPHANE Aziz Ki has turned down the chance to join CR Belouizdad and will instead sign a new one-year contract at Young Africans after months of speculation over his future.

The 28-year-old had everything in his hands. He could activate a one-year contract extension at Young Africans by himself, while he also had the rest of Africa's elite clubs waiting to snap him up without a transfer fee. 

In an official video released by Young Africans, the Burkina Faso attacking midfielder said he is to stay with the club despite attracting offers from several continental giants including Algeria’s CR Belouizdad. 

The Algerian topflight side made a proposal to Aziz Ki worth in the region of $440,000 per year. CR Belouizdad, who were in the same CAF Champions League Group with Young Africans last season, were extremely keen to recruit Aziz Ki and considered him their star arrival for the 2024/25 campaign. 

The offer also included a two-year contract, three months’ advanced salary to be paid, a furnished apartment, and two business class plane tickets to be provided per year.

They won the Algeria Federation Cup but lost the league crown to MC Alger and are now bolstering their squad for next season. They will represent Algeria in the CAF Champions League for the fifth time in a row. 

In addition to CR Belouizdad, Egypt’s Pyramids and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, among other clubs, were billed as Azizi Ki's next destination. 

Young Africans Sports Club president Hersi Said in an interview recently with South Africa’s Soccer Laduma magazine revealed that negotiations with Aziz Ki were still on though they were facing a big task to keep their key asset. 

“You know, we signed him on a two-year contract that has expired and that means those who are interested in him are talking to him directly. But for us, we are still talking to him and there is nothing finalized yet. 

“It’s very tough for us, especially losing a player like Ki Aziz. There’s a lot of interest coming from a number of clubs, including some of the clubs in South Africa. The discussion is going very well, but as of now, nothing has been finalized. Football is business. Financial approach from different teams can change Aziz’s mindset,” he said. 

Aziz Ki joined Young Africans from ASEC Mimosas in 2022 in a deal worth up to $150k and has established himself as one of the Tanzania Premier League’s best players. 

He has played a crucial role in both creating and scoring goals for Young Africans with 21 goals and eight assists in the Premier League last season. 

He helped Young Africans win a third successive league title as well as reaching the CAF Champions League quarter-final. 

The development is a major boost to Young Africans, with Clatous Chama arrival offering them more options in the attacking department.