No pay, no play Hwange play­ers down their boots

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

HWANGE Foot­ball Club play­ers yes­ter­day re­moved their soc­cer boots and re­fused to train over un­paid win­ning bonuses and sign­ing on fees stretch­ing for more than a year.

The play­ers are owed about $800 each in win­ning bonuses for last year and $1 250 for this year over and above un­paid sign­ing on fees.

The play­ers threat­ened not to ful­fil their league match against Dy­namos in Harare on Sun­day if their de­mands are not met.

Hwange club ad­min­is­tra­tor Khum­bu­lani Mbano yes­ter­day threat­ened to dis­band the club if the play­ers con­tin­ued with their ac­tion, as Hwange Col­liery Com­pany was not ben­e­fit­ting from sports spon­sor­ship.

“We have been pa­tient for a long time, play­ing for the love of the team, but enough is enough. We are not wor­ried about salaries be­cause we know that the com­pany has not been pay­ing em­ploy­ees, but what we want is our money from foot­ball,” said a dis­grun­tled se­nior player.

He said as long as their money is not de­posited in their bank ac­counts, they will con­tinue with their boy­cott and will not ful­fil the Dy­namos match.

“How do they think we are sur­viv­ing? We want what is due to us,” said another player.

Af­ter their meet­ing with Mbano yes­ter­day, the play­ers agreed to meet the com­pany’s es­tate man­ager Malvin Maseko this morn­ing “but if there is no money the meet­ing will just be use­less,” ac­cord­ing to the play­ers.

Last month, the Foot­ball Union of Zim­babwe (Fuz) raised its con­cerns over the non-pay­ment of con­trac­tual dues by the com­pany, ar­gu­ing that such a sce­nario was a big driver in match-fix­ing.

Fuz pres­i­dent Des­mond Mar­ingwa, who vis­ited Hwange, made it clear that the play­ers were dis­grun­tled, but had no op­tion.

Hwange club chair­man Joe Zulu was quoted say­ing they ex­pected to pay at least 23 per­cent of what they owed their play­ers by this month.

“We are do­ing the best we can as the mine is not per­form­ing well. We haven’t paid salaries for a long time. We are do­ing the best we can and we will pay. We have talked to the guys and, in fact, some­thing is hap­pen­ing in Oc­to­ber and by then we ex­pect to pay 23 per­cent of what we owe them,” said Zulu last month.

Hwange lie 13th on the league ta­ble with 31 points.

Hwange Foot­ball Club play­ers stage a sit in as they de­mand their dues, and, the club’s coach Me­belo Njekwa takes a nap yes­ter­day

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