Katsande’s fury at ‘mercenary’ tag

WARRIORS captain, Willard Katsande has reacted with disappointment to media articles labelling the team “a bunch of mercenaries” following their stand-off with the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) over match fees, allowances and bonuses at the weekend.

BY HENRY MHARA

Warriors captain Willard Katsande
Warriors captain Willard Katsande

Katsande was unamused by an article in the Sunday Mail, where his players were attacked and labelled mercenaries, saying they deserve to be appreciated for what they have done for the nation.

“Its unfair to be called mercenaries because we sacrificed a lot throughout this campaign. We knew what we wanted from the start, putting all our efforts, time and sometimes our own resources ensuring that this campaign is a success,” he said.

“We went to Malawi by road, spending over 18 hours travelling. We also spent over seven hours on the road going to Swaziland. We went to Guinea and played a match on the day of arrival. Where were these people then that they call us mercenaries today? Why didn’t they call us that, then?”

The players, who only agreed to go to Cameroon after being paid their daily allowances, reported to be $1 500 each, are demanding an appearance fee of $5 000 per player for each match at Afcon, and $400 in foreign daily allowance.

The team staged a strike on Friday evening, just hours before their scheduled flight to Cameroon, where they are set to play a preparatory match against the hosts tomorrow before proceeding to Gabon for Africa Cup of Nations finals starting on Saturday.

The players snubbed a farewell party that had been organised by the government, and subsequently missed their flight to Yaoundé, as the dispute turned nasty.

The team left for Cameroon yesterday after their demands were partially met by Zifa.

“We are asking for what we think we deserve, and some people call us that (mercenaries). I think that is very unfair. And if we want to be honest, the $5 000 we are asking falls far short of what other players from other nations are getting. A team like Togo is giving its players something like $25 000 a match in appearance fees. From what we hear from our colleagues from other countries, we actually asked for less than what they are getting. Some players here actually received calls from their friends, who play in other countries, when our contract document was leaked and published on the internet. They are actually laughing at us that we are getting peanuts, but we understand our situation and we have accepted it,” Katsande said.

The report also alleges that Warriors midfielder Matthew Rusike verbally attacked Zifa vice president Omega Sibanda, in one of their meetings, a claim that Katsande has rubbished.

“Matthew didn’t swear at the Zifa vice-president, Omega Sibanda. The vice president came trying to address the players and Matthew told him, ‘please go talk to the captain, he is our mouth piece’. But today (yesterday) we woke up to a newspaper article saying he swore at the vice-president. If he had done that, I don’t think he could be still amongst us now. I was personally going to lobby for him to be removed from camp, because that is not us and is against what we believe in as the Warriors. I was right there when he spoke to Sibanda and for someone to then go and write outright lies, is unbelievable.”

Rusike denied swearing at Sibanda, posting on Twitter that “nobody enjoys the truth when a lie is more entertaining”.

13 Comments

  1. If we have mercinaries, they are now @ Zimpapers. Bootlicking Ngwena has rendered state media a muppet show. The once respected media has been reduced to a toilet paper. Its like the the media house is run by alliens. Thats what happens when crooks run the show. Jonso is right, these idiots are clueless & unelectable.

  2. In the day of ICT – people share more info than the authorities would be comfortable with. I think the players were right in asserting their worth, never under-estimate your value!

  3. Wezhira wezhara

    Ko mbavha iya iripi nemari yayo?

  4. Give them what they are worth ,they are our boyz motivate them thtre are there for the Nation , so pay them their dues they are at work

  5. Oka Sidubi wa se Lupane

    As we are aware our players most of them play in lucrative soccer leagues such that whatever they earn here from Zifa its peanuts they therefore deserve far more than that. What they are doing is mere a sacrifice in order to put Zimbabwe on spotlight. Our economy is badly subdued n therefore the corporate world which all over the world plays a pivotal roll in supporting is in doldrums in Zimbabwe. Those who have ability n capability please assist the young boys.

    We know the so called money from CAF and NETONE might be vultures who have started devouring it— what a shame

  6. Oka Sidubi wa se Lupane

    As we are aware our players most of them play in lucrative soccer leagues such that whatever they earn here from Zifa its peanuts they therefore deserve far more than that. What they are doing is mere a sacrifice in order to put Zimbabwe on spotlight. Our economy is badly subdued n therefore the corporate world which all over the world plays a pivotal roll in supporting is in doldrums in Zimbabwe. Those who have ability n capability please assist the young boys.

    We know the so called money from CAF and NETONE might be vultures who have started devouring it— what a shame

  7. The problem is with zifa, as always nothing has changed, how can they leave all details to the eleventh hour, they should have sorted this issue long back, but as they are used to, thinking they would win this time they met their match, they thought they would let the players go on empty promises and let it die like that.

  8. Bhora mari everywhere in the world and if you pay nuts you get monkies saChiyangwa

  9. I have reservations about this friendly match at this critical moment because we might pick up some injuries. i believe we should have had these way back before selecting the final team

  10. Michael Thearchan

    Go Warriors Go!

    Don’t let the snivelling of those who insult you deter you from the prime objective – Bringing that AfCon trophy home!!!

    Others are chewing taxpayers’ money as they falsely claim to be representing the country. Yet, we all know that they are serving their greedy selves. So why shouldn’t you, our footballing Warriors claim what is rightfully yours, as you fearlessly fight for our nation’s honour?

    Go Warriors Go! and ***Three Cheers*** to Katsande for standing up for the rights of his team. A true leader!

  11. Jamengweni Godonga

    Phepha Willard, banjalo vele

  12. It was none other than Makomborero Mutimukulu – whatever that means; that ZIMPAPERS’ confused cockroach, that hallot, an enemy of the state who had the temerity of calling our brave Warriors “mercenaries” – for merely asking for what belongs to them. That shallow-minded journalist always writes a hip of lies praising Chiyangwa to get monetary kick-backs!! Pasi naye!! Down with him!!

  13. That send-off dinner expenditure could have been used to cover some of the warriors’ needs. Talk of misplaced priorities!

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