ZIMBABWE Football Association president Cuthbert Dube has warned Premiership clubs against paying players meagre salaries as this leaves them open to abuse by unscrupulous individuals.
By Brian Nkiwane
Speaking at the commissioning of the new Football Trust members, Dube pointed out that club owners and leadership were to blame for fuelling Asiagate cases as they have been giving their players raw deals, forcing them into dirty deals to salvage something to survive.
“I am glad my brother Twine Phiri [PSL chairman] is here. As the football governing body, we have since discovered that the issue of player welfare at their respective clubs has been the other ingredient for the Asiagate scandal. What we have to remember is that players have families to look after. If clubs do not pay them well, they will be forced into engaging in dirty deals to earn a living,” Dube said.
He added that a number of local clubs had the tendency of dumping players in times of need, adding that they were going to do everything they could do to assist players.
“We have received a number of cases where players end up destitutes after their football careers have been cut short by injuries and [their] clubs dump them in their hour of need.”
Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) secretary general Paul Gundani said he was surprised to hear these words coming from the mother body which they have taken to court on numerous occasions over such issues.
“As a union, we have been having problems with Zifa over such issues. But now that they have seen the importance of players’ welfare and favourable working conditions, it’s good to hear.
“Actually, we have outstanding court cases against Zifa over some of these issues,” Gundani said.
Gundani added that he was optimistic that the latest comments by the Zifa president were going to benefit the players.
“As FUZ, we came up with a standard contract for PSL clubs which we thought was going to address some of these issues.
“We have also been pushing all national team players at all levels to have running contracts with Zifa. All players should have contracts such that each time they get into camp, they know how much they will be getting at the end of the match. The contracts should be signed at the beginning of every campaign, for example, World Cup or Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.
Currently, players are not signing any contracts when they come for national duty.
“So what we are saying is, salaries and allowances, as well as working conditions, should be spelt out in that contract. But what is happening now is that Zifa is giving these players what they want,” added Gundani.
Gundani also castigated PSL clubs for terminating players’ contract willy-nilly.