Rovers players strike, weekend match in doubt

THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Mutare City Rovers and Nichrut set for Vengere Stadium on Sunday hangs in the balance as the hosts’ players have threatened a boycott to force the club management to pay them outstanding salaries.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

Rovers have started the process of engaging the Premier Soccer League to have the relegation battle postponed to a later date.

Club spokesperson Clayton Masekesa yesterday confirmed that they had written to the PSL to reschedule the weekend match.

Mutare City Rovers players retorted to industrial action at the start of the week, when they refused to train to force the management to pay them their salaries.

The players claim that they are owed four months salaries and allowances.

Leading the protest are veterans Evans Chikwaikwai, Piniel Gumbo, Watch Mafa and Brian Chinhoyi.

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The unrest started on Tuesday when the players refused to get into their training gear, and even the arrival of new coach Takesure Chiragwi at the training venue yesterday, who takes over from fired Joseph Takaringofa, could not make the players change their minds.

Moral is reportedly at its lowest ebb at the relegation-haunted side with such players as goalminder Tafadzwa Dube, striker Washington Pakamisa and defender Themba Ndlovu having already ditched the club
A player who commented on condition of anonymity said it’s high time their problems were resolved.

“I believe that it’s high time our challenges are resolved because we have suffered a lot. We have got families to look after, I might quit the club and join a Division One outfit,” he said.

“If the situation is not addressed we are not going to play our home game against Nichrut. They should at least pay us something,” he said.

Masekesa said they have started negotiations with the players.

“Yes they have genuine concerns but it is very sad that the players have resorted to a strike at a time the executive is working tirelessly with the Mutare City Council management to resolve the matter,” he said.

“We understand their plight but as professional players they should have followed correct channels.

“As an executive we are now in the process of engaging the relevant authorities to find a solution,” he added.

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