ZIMBABWE’S representatives in the Caf Champions’ League, FC Platinum, preferred to bite the bullet when they travelled to Angola with big defender Lawrence Mhlanga who still has contractual issues with Chicken Inn.
The platinum side meet Desportivo de Agosto for their preliminary round first leg tie on Sunday.
Chicken Inn recently reported Zifa to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) over the dispute involving Mhlanga.
Mhlanga was registered by FC Platinum in their Caf Champions League squad with the blessings of Zifa, but Chicken Inn are not giving up the battle just yet and they wrote to the SRC and also copied the letter to Caf, Zifa, FC Platinum, Angolan side Desportivo de Agosto, registrar of the Labour Court and the Premier Soccer League.
The letter, authored by Chicken Inn secretary Tavengwa Hara, was addressed to SRC acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere.
In his response Muchechetere said:
“In pursuance of Good Corporate Governance and Fairplay, the SRC has requested Zifa CEO to submit a report on this matter by Friday 26 January 2018. The report will enable us to determine the course of action to take in assisting to resolve this matter in the interests of justice. We firmly believe that the Fifa and Football systems have inbuilt mechanisms created specifically to resolve such matters and therefore applaud your stance that football matters should not be taken to the courts of law.”
When FC Platinum left the country on Wednesday for Angola the matter was yet to be resolved and according to well placed sources, Desportivo de Agosto have indicated that they would play under protest should Mhlanga be part of the 18 players that will do duty for the Zimbabwean side.
Interestingly, the platinum miners could have got wind on what their opponents are planning to do as they travelled to Angola with 20 players.
Football standards world over require 18 players to be on a team sheet.
The Gamecocks have on numerous times threatened to get unpatriotic courtesy of Platinum’s “bullying tactics” to lure the player to them when he was still on the GameCocks’ books last year.
According to Zifa and Fifa statutes, the Player Status Committee is the only body mandated to resolve player contract wrangles after receiving complaints from the disgruntled parties, who are then supposed to make submissions before the matter is deliberated on.
Hara’s initial letter to Muchechetere read: “In our case, Zifa claim to have deliberated on the matter and resolved that the player be declared a free agent, a position which the board and the chief executive officer have no mandate to do since this is the prerogative of the Player Status Committee. We have also copied Caf and the Angolan club of the current player’s status and the player is not eligible to take part in the Caf competition . . . Please be advised that despite writing to Zifa advising them of the procedural improprieties relating to the clearance of the player and that they reverse the purported clearance, they have not even bothered to acknowledge receipt of our letter…”
Earlier, Chicken Inn wrote to Zifa demanding that Mhlanga’s clearance be reversed having written another letter last month requesting that the player not be registered by any other club for any competition as he had a valid contract with the club and there was a labour case pending in the courts.
Zifa general-secretary Joseph Mamutse had written to Chicken Inn and FC Platinum advising them that Mhlanga’s contract had expired at the Gamecocks and he was free to join any club of his choice and the platinum miners included the defender in their squad for the Caf Champions League.
Mhlanga was sidelined for a full season last year as he had to contend with a contractual brawl with the Gamecocks.
The imposing defender, fondly known as Dazzy, was a member of the 2017 Warriors Afcon and 2016 Warriors Chan squads.
FC Platinum Travelling Squad
Wallace Magalane, Rapheal Muduviwa, Gift Bello , Kevin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Never Tigere, Rahman Kautsanzira, Ali Sadiki, Charles Sibanda, Mkhokheli Dube, Lawrence Mhlanga, Tatenda Mudehwe, Petros Mhari, Jameson Mukombwe, William Stima, Kevin Madzongwe, Brett Amidu, Farai Madhanhanga.