Most of the players are now pariahs in the town and move in groups to avoid being attacked. The reports come hard on the heels of death of FC Platinum coach Benjamin Moyo, who drowned in a swimming pool in Shurugwi during a training camp in the small town.
A legion of top premiership players were acquired by cash-rich FC Platinum ahead of their maiden season in the top flight league are said to be unpopular with the Zvishavane community since their acquisition rendered the squad that played in Division One jobless.
The wholesome changes did no spare local players, who have been loyal to the club since the time it was in Division One. This has not gone down well with the local fans that have resorted to booing and threatening some of the players.
It is evident that newcomers are dominating the club as only one player, Muranganwa Nengomasha – the goalkeeper from the previous year’s team plays in the starting 11.
Some of the players that joined Platinum FC this season include Tafadzwa Dube, Norman Maroto, Daniel Vheremu, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Joel Ngodzo, Benjamin Marere, Charles Sibanda, Beki Nyoni, Menard Mupera, Francis Kanda, Norman Togara and Simon Njeleza. These are the players that have been dominating the squad since premiership action started.
Speaking to Standardsport, one of the senior players who have been rendered jobless complained bitterly and said the executive was insensitive to their plight.
“We have been with this club for a long time since its promotion into Division One. We have been patient enough to have a chance to play in the league but after helping the club gain promotion, we have been sidelined and I do not think that we are going to see action again,” said the player.
A number of senior players that have been rendered jobless are players who left Lancashire Steel after it was relegated in 2009. Jairos Tapera, the then head coach lured them to join Platinum FC last year to fight for promotion. Tapera was kicked upstairs and elevated to director of coaching on the appointment of Moyo.
A number of the new players echoed the same sentiments that they were unwanted in Zvishavane and were now fearing for their lives.
“We have tried to be patient but we have just discovered that it’s becoming too much. Each time I get into the field of play, they start booing me meaning that they are bitter.
“As for me I have actually stopped moving around at night because you never know who likes you and who doesn’t like you. I think you also understand the life in a mining town its hard at times and many believe a lot of juju comes from these mining towns,” said the player who cannot be identified for professional reasons.
Club secretary Chenede Phiri and the team manager Phillip Muvengwa could not be reached for comment.
Omega Sibanda who is the manager of a number of players that joined Platinum FC this season said he was always in contact with his players but he has never heard of the development.
“I am always in contact with my boys but they have never told me that something of that nature has been happening,” Sibanda said.
Sibanda was Benjamin Moyo’s manager.