BY FORTUNE MBELE
THE Highlanders leadership yesterday met the players, who had abandoned training, demanding a share of the prize money from last year’s league and the Chibuku Super Cup.
The players, who later agreed to resume training, were also demanding that they be given $200 each in camping fees.
Highlanders got $40 000 from the Premier Soccer League after finishing the season on position five last year, while in the Chibuku Super Cup, they reached the quarter-finals, earning $15 000.
Also said to be among the players’ demands is the prize money from the Kembo Mohadi Charity Shield, a match they won after beating Caps United, though the club is yet to receive the winner’s prize of $20 000.
Sources said contractually, players were entitled to 50% of prize money from cup tournaments and the league.
Some players who spoke to NewsDay Sport on condition of anonymity yesterday said they never went on strike over unpaid January salaries.
The meeting by the two parties started in the morning and lasted until afternoon.
“What we are demanding from them is our share of the league’s prize money and the Chibuku Super Cup and then we can go back into camp if a commitment is made,” one player said earlier in the day.
Later on, the Bosso management announced that the players had agreed to return to training.
Ronald Moyo, the club’s spokesperson, confirmed the position in a statement.
“Highlanders wishes to announce that further to the work stoppage by some of our players, leading to them being excused from pre-season camp, the club’s leadership and the affected players have agreed to settle the various outstanding matters in keeping with the club’s laid down procedures,” he said.
“The two parties resolved the issue amicably and the players will join pre-season camp this evening (yesterday) to continue with their preparations for the new football season.
“Both parties sincerely regret this unfortunate incident that puts the image of the club, sponsors, its various stakeholders and partners into disrepute.”
The 17 players who left the camp venue in Matopo in protest met the club executive committee of chairman Kenneth Mhlophe, his deputy Modern Ngwenya, secretary Israel Moyo, treasurer Donald Ndebele and chief executive Nhlanhla Dube.
The players who walked out of camp include Ariel Sibanda, Peter Muduhwa, Charlton Siamalonga, Tendai Ndlovu, Ben Musaka, Denzel Khumalo, Brian Banda, Godfrey Makaruse, Tinashe Makanda, Mbongeni Ndlovu, MacClive Phiri, Bukhosi Ncube, Nedrick Madeya, Ray Lunga, Munyaradzi Chitambwe and Andrew Mbeba.
Prince Dube, who re-joined the club in October last year, was also among the players who abandoned camp, while injured Bukhosi Sibanda, who also signed last October on loan, had also not attended camp.
The coaches, led by Madinda Ndlovu, remained in camp with a few players from the new senior team, among them Nqobizitha Masuku, Mbekezeli Sibanda, Russell Chifura, Vincent Moyo, goalkeeper Wellington Muuya and Division One Bosso 90 players, who had reportedly replaced the striking players.