Byo City strike Play­ers de­mand un­paid bonuses

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

BULAWAYO City’s prepa­ra­tions for Satur­day’s Cas­tle Lager Pre­mier Soc­cer League clash with Mutare City Rovers were thrown into dis­ar­ray af­ter their play­ers went on strike over un­paid bonuses which spilled into the sec­ond day yes­ter­day.

Amakhosi as City are af­fec­tion­ately known, owe play­ers $400 each in bonuses for two matches, the 1-0 away win over Bor­der Strik­ers and last week’s 3-1 vic­tory over Caps United, as well as for their draws against Hwange and Dy­namos.

The play­ers also claim they are owed two months’ salar­ies.

They also claim they have been sur­viv­ing on camp­ing al­lowances pegged at $35 for away games and $15 for home matches.

Play­ers re­fused to train yes­ter­day at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

When a Chron­i­cle Sport crew ar­rived at City’s train­ing ground at around 2:45PM, the play­ers had changed into their train­ing gear, but re­fused to train de­mand­ing that the club’s man­age­ment ad­dresses their con­cerns.

City’s ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers, in­clud­ing chair­man Jerry Sibanda, his deputy Zenzo Moyo, sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ho­race Ndu­biwa and Ed­die Chivero, who is the club’s li­ai­son of­fi­cer, ar­rived at the train­ing ground at 5PM and ad­dressed the play­ers for over an hour.

McKen­zie Moyo, City’s act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, called for play­ers to be pa­tient, say­ing the club had its fair share of chal­lenges just like other PSL clubs.

“We strive to make sure that our play­ers’ needs are taken care of and as it is the man­age­ment has gone to hear their grievances. We only get a grant from the city coun­cil and the club has to fend for it­self,” said Moyo.

Be­cause of out­stand­ing salar­ies and bonuses, one player made sen­sa­tional claims that think­ing about the al­lowances was af­fect­ing their play.

“Surely, how do they ex­pect us to con­cen­trate when we are think­ing about our monies? What we want is for the club to show that they are com­mit­ted to pay­ing us our dues be­cause even the sign-on fees we were given were far below what they had agreed to give us. They had said they were go­ing to give us half of the sign-on fees, but the monies were not even half,” said one player.

City’s strike came three days af­ter they had lost 1-2 to Harare City in a match that they blew away lots of scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and ended up los­ing via a con­tro­ver­sial penalty.

Ref­eree Tha­bani Bhamala er­ro­neously awarded Harare City a penalty in the dy­ing stages of the game at Ru­faro Sta­dium on Fri­day af­ter ad­judg­ing that Bulawayo City’s left-back Brian Chik­wenya had used his arm to block a goal-bound shot, when in fact the ball had hit his shoul­der.

With two train­ing days wasted, City are likely to dou­ble their ses­sions to make up for lost time as they pre­pare for rel­e­ga­tion fight­ers Mutare City Rovers. — @ZililoR

Bulawayo City chair­man Jerry Sibanda (in a suit) ad­dresses play­ers as of­fifi cials lis­ten at Bar­bour­fifi elds Sta­dium yes­ter­day. by For­tu­nate Muzara­bani Pic­ture

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