Ex-captain Chigwenje blasts Caps players
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.