Shape up or ship out: City play­ers told

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

BU­L­AWAYO City play­ers have been told to shape up or ship out fol­low­ing their two-day strike over un­paid salaries and bonuses.

City’s chair­man Jerry Sibanda slammed se­nior play­ers for lead­ing the strike dur­ing Tues­day evening’s ad­dress at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

The lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal club owes play­ers $400 each in bonuses and two months’ salaries.

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

“The chair­man (Sibanda) was breath­ing fire and ac­cused se­nior play­ers of lead­ing the strike. How­ever, the guys re­futed his as­ser­tions and told him that it was a team ef­fort,” said a player.

The play­ers, who re­port­edly re­fused to be ad­dressed by vice-chair­man Zenzo Moyo, were made to train twice on Wed­nes­day to make up for Mon­day and Tues­day ses­sions which they missed.

At yes­ter­day’s train­ing ses­sion, the play­ers were ad­dressed by Foot­ballers Union of Zim­babwe (FUZ) rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­vited by the club.

Sibanda said they will act on er­rant play­ers that brought the club’s name into dis­re­pute.

“We es­tab­lished that there are four se­nior play­ers who in­sti­gated the strike. I didn’t in­tim­i­date the play­ers, but I sim­ply told them that those who don’t want to be part of the club will be re­leased at the end of the sea­son. We didn’t de­cline to pay their dues and it’s only that they were im­pa­tient. Once we get our grant, we will clear their dues, but we can’t let er­rant play­ers drag the name of the club into the mud,” said Sibanda.

On FUZ’s visit, Sibanda said: “FUZ were only ad­dress­ing their mem­bers, telling them the pro­ce­dure to fol­low in­stead of just en­gag­ing in in­dus­trial ac­tion. The team cap­tains never com­mu­ni­cated with ei­ther the wel­fare man­ager or my­self about their griev­ances. Go­ing on strike was il­le­gal and FUZ told them that they risk be­ing charged.”

City take on Mutare City Rovers at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium to­mor­row and they have been chal­lenged to win the en­counter.

“They missed train­ing twice and I told them that we want max­i­mum points. They can’t em­bar­rass us like that and be­ing pro­fes­sion­als that they’re, only a vic­tory can make up for their ac­tions,” said Sibanda.

City wel­come back cap­tain Xolisani Moyo, who missed last week’s 1-2 loss to Harare City due to ill­ness.

An­other player who has started train­ing is striker Mkhokheli Dube, who had been out for three weeks, nurs­ing a head in­jury. – @ZililoR

Ron­ald “Gidiza” Sibanda

Jerry Sibanda ad­dresses Bu­l­awayo City play­ers

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