CAPS United players were yesterday given their outstanding salaries and bonuses as normalcy returned at the club ahead of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Shabanie Mine at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The players were still owed their May salaries and winning bonuses as the club battled financial problems.
As the crisis deepened last week, midfielder Hardlife Zvirekwi took matters into his own hands by refusing to travel to Chapungu on Saturday last week for a league match, in protest.
Caps United were clobbered 3-0 in that match.
The situation threatened to degenerate into a catastrophe on Sunday night when a section of club supporters allegedly besieged the home of club administrator Morton Dodzo and threatened to assault him over the players’ outstanding salaries.
However, club public relations manager Joyce Kapota yesterday told NewsDay Sport that they have managed to settle the players’ dues.
“We owed them salaries for May and I can tell you that we have paid all their monies. Everything is fine now, and everyone is happy and looking forward to the next challenge,” Kapota said.
A senior player at the club yesterday confirmed that they had received their salaries and the mood in camp has greatly improved.
Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro said he had a full squad complement at training yesterday, including Zvirekwi after his shenanigans last week.
And while Mangwiro refused to entertain questions on Zvirekwi’s behaviour, it appears the Warriors defender will be charged by the club for his conduct.
“It’s a must-win match for us after another loss last weekend and the good thing is that we haven’t lost a match at home. We are facing a Shabanie side who collected six points from us last season and have already beaten us this year in a friendly match so we should be at our best to win the match. We have prepared well and hopefully we will have another good performance at home,” Mangwiro said.
Mangwiro’s side is coming against a Shabanie Mine team who are also in a financial mess, if not worse.
Reports indicate the players have not been paid their salaries and bonuses since the start of the year. Football Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ), a local organisation that look at the welfare of local players were last week quoted in the media saying some of the club’s players are living in a toilet while others have converted a disused clinic into a house.
There were also indications that the Shabanie players went on strike earlier this week over the “inhuman conditions” that they are being subjected to, but Shabanie coach John Phiri yesterday told NewsDay Sport that the reports were exaggerated.
“The players never went on strike. They were on a go slow, that’s how I can describe it. Some were feigning injuries at training, but it was not a crisis as some want people to believe. This thing was blown out of proportion. I don’t know of a player who is staying in a toilet, not at Shabanie Mine,” Phiri said.
“The players were given part of the money this week and everything is back to normal. We are going to Harare for all the three points. We want to be the first team to beat Caps United in Harare this season,” he added.
Shabanie Mine will arrive in Harare without two players Louis Matawu and Douglas Sibanda. Matawu is down injured while Sibanda is suspended for the match after accumulating three consecutive yellow cards in three previous matches.
Meanwhile, reports yesterday suggested that Caps United had signed Malawian national George Nyirenda on a two-year deal.
Kapota, however, denied the reports, saying the player is just training with the club and no deal has been reached.
Caps United currently has two Malawians in their books in Gift Phiri and Ishmael Thindwa.