Ex-cap­tain Chig­wenje blasts Caps play­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Harare Bureau

FOR­MER Caps United skip­per Sil­ver “Bhonzo” Chig­wenje be­lieves the cur­rent crop of play­ers at the Green Ma­chine does not have the club at heart fol­low­ing a protest just be­fore their Chibuku Su­per Cup first round de­feat to Tsholot­sho on Satur­day.

Chig­wenje yes­ter­day told our Harare Bureau the play­ers could lose the plot in their quest for the league cham­pi­onship as they con­tinue to hold the club to ran­som over de­lays in pay­ment of salaries.

Caps United play­ers are owed a month’s salary with the club hav­ing de­cided to deal with the is­sue this week.

The Green Ma­chine play­ers also wanted to know how much they would be paid for tak­ing part in the Chibuku Su­per Cup.

Re­ports have also emerged that a few play­ers, led by a na­tional team star, bul­lied oth­ers to stage the protest.

They even­tu­ally took to the pitch af­ter per­sua­sion but lost the match 4-5 on penal­ties af­ter a 1-1 draw in nor­mal time.

Chig­wenje, who cap­tained the team for nine years lead­ing them to the cham­pi­onship in 1996, was highly crit­i­cal of the play­ers.

“This is not good. It is not good for ev­ery­one in­volved with the club and I be­lieve it should come to an end now,” he said.

“Th­ese play­ers no longer have the team at heart.

“Yes, I un­der­stand their con­cerns but the man­ner in which they are ex­press­ing them­selves is to­tally wrong.

“They must keep on play­ing foot­ball and win­ning matches while they en­gage the ex­ec­u­tive on their salaries.

“Dur­ing our play­ing days if there were such prob­lems we would com­plain through proper chan­nels but we would never boy­cott or go play a match half­heart­edly be­cause of griev­ances.”

The for­mer skip­per thinks the play­ers are press­ing a self-de­struc­tive but­ton at a time they should be chas­ing for glory and big re­wards which comes with win­ning a league cham­pi­onship.

“If you look at Hwange, they are in the same predica­ment if not worse be­cause we hear they have not been paid for a year but they are ful­fill­ing fix­tures which is a very im­por­tant thing to do.

“But they (Caps United) are busy dis­turb­ing them­selves.

“Now their ri­vals in the league race FC Plat­inum won the Chibuku match and this is a plus in the fight for the league race.

“They may take ad­van­tage of all this con­fu­sion to run away with the league.

“I be­lieve the right men­tal­ity be­fore the week­end game would have helped the team in the Chibuku Cup which to me is a ma­jor Cup as a club can get to play in the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup,” said Chig­wenje.

The Makepekepe leg­end said he was not sup­port­ing the club ex­ec­u­tive for de­lay­ing pay­ment of salaries but was against this idea of boy­cotts, es­pe­cially those that come just a few min­utes be­fore the game.

This is not the first time Makepekepe play­ers have had a stand­off re­gard­ing their salaries.

Two months ago, they threat­ened to boy­cott an away league match against Hwange be­fore trav­el­ling late at night on the eve of the game af­ter their salaries had been de­posited into their ac­counts.

On Satur­day, some club sup­port­ers nearly took mat­ters into their own hands, ac­cus­ing the play­ers of be­ing mer­ce­nar­ies, and were only stopped from in­vad­ing the team bus by se­cu­rity de­tails.

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