DYNAMOS chief striker Christian Ntouba Epoupa is likely to miss the trip to Bulawayo for their opening 2018 Castle Lager Premiership tie against bogey side Chicken Inn on Saturday, with reports suggesting the player is not happy with the lack of a clear payment plan for his outstanding dues.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
DeMbare owe the Cameroonian about $16 000, that includes part of his signing on fees, as well as unpaid salaries and allowances from last season.
According to the player’s management, Epoupa, who joined Dynamos at the beginning of last year was given part of his signing-on fees, and the rest is supposed to come in instalments.
However, the Cameroonian is yet to be paid the balance this year despite the season starting this weekend.
The Dynamos management was expected to pay him his dues before the start of the new season but have not done so, a development which has thrown his future at the club into uncertainty.
Epoupa is said to have reached a point where he was contemplating quitting the club.
His manager, Gilbert Sengwe, yesterday said that his efforts to get a commitment from Dynamos have been met with resistance.
All he has been told is that the club does not have the money to pay the player what he is owed.
“I have engaged them, Dynamos, but there has not been a clear response on the way forward. I have just been told the club has no money and they are not even proposing a payment plan. So it puts the player in a very difficult situation because you know, he is a foreigner and has not managed to send money back home for almost four months now. The player is committed and this is why he is still training with the team,” Sengwe said.
He added that the striker might not play on Saturday against Chicken Inn if the matter is not resolved.
“The problem is Dynamos are just saying there is no money and not offering a possible solution. We thought they would put forward a payment plan, so that this boy can have some money to send back home. If there is nothing concrete, how do you expect him to play? If they can’t pay him then the other option is to clear the player so that he can move on.”
However, club president Keni Mubaiwa said they were frantically running around in a bid to pay the player. “We are doing everything to ensure we pay him. Like we always do when faced with such a situation, we are running around. We are looking into the issue,”
The big striker played a key role in Dynamos championship bid last term, contributing 12 goals to earn a place on the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar.
He had the second highest individual goals tally in the league after Dominic Chungwa.
And as the Glamour Boys look to win it this time after agonisingly falling short, they will be looking for a fast start and coach Lloyd Mutasa would want his best players around.
They, however, have what appears on paper a tough opening fixture against Chicken Inn — the headliner of the open weekend of the league — while champions FC Platinum open their title defence away to ZPC Kariba, who are temporarily using the National Sports Stadium in Harare, since their Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba was condemned.
Saturday: Bulawayo City v Chapungu (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum v Herentals (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v FC Platinum (National Sports Stadium), Nichrut FC v Mutare City (Mandava), Yadah FC v Bulawayo Chiefs (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Dynamos (Barbourfields),
Sunday: Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Triangle (Mandava), Caps United v Harare City (National Sports Stadium)