THE Highlanders Football Club executive is in a quandary following the players’ resolution to resume industrial action in protest over unpaid winning bonuses ahead of the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final clash against Monomotapa at the Colliery on Sunday.
REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE SPORTS REPORTER
The players — who started the season on a good note and went for 23 matches unbeaten in the Castle Lager Premiership before they were stopped by Monomotapa with 3-0 defeat at Rufaro Stadium — are owed winning bonuses for three matches.
An unidentified well-wisher last week promised to transfer$5 000 into the club’s bank account to cover winning bonuses for one match and the players agreed to resume training.
However, a reliable source yesterday said the players had resolved to continue with the strike until they were paid their dues in full.
Players who spoke to NewsDay Sport yesterday said they went to Hillside Dam on Monday, but did not train.
“We went to Hillside yesterday (Monday) and just grouped, but we did not do the jogging as usual. Maybe others will go today (yesterday), I might be going as well, but we still have not received our money. Everything will be alright as soon as we get our money, then we are back at training,” one senior player said.
“We are still not training. The problem is that they (the executive) are calling in individual players, but we are saying they should address us as a group and tell us where the problem is and not call us one by one. There is still no money and we have not gone back to training,” the player said.
Bosso chairman Peter Dube yesterday confirmed the strike and said they were still checking if the money they had been promised last week by an undisclosed benefactor was reflecting in the club’s bank account.
“They are still not training because they are saying they want their money. But for now we do not know if the money is showing in the account, but we will keep on checking,” Dube said.
The players, who receive $250 each in winning bonuses for a match, are owed $750 each for the last three matches won against Black Mambas (Barbourfields), Hwange (Colliery) and Shabanie Mine, which could add up to nearly $15 000.
All the matches were won with 1-0 scorelines.
Head coach Kelvin Kaindu, who could be forced to use reserve team players for the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final if the strike persists, yesterday said he hoped the impasse would be resolved soon.
He could, however, not be drawn to comment on the Sunday match against Monomotapa.
“I believe it shall be well. It is difficult for me to get into any details for now,” Kaindu said.
Meanwhile, Dube yesterday paid condolences to the family of skipper Innocent Mapuranga, who lost his father on Monday afternoon.
“We feel touched and wish to express our sympathies to the whole of the Mapuranga family in their time of mourning,” Dube said.