No pay, no play Hwange players down their boots
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