Mapeza in a fix. . . as GameCocks escalates Mhlanga’s case

Chicken Inn have reported Zifa to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) over the dispute involving defender Lawrence Mhlanga, who has been allowed to join FC Platinum while the GameCocks argue he is still their player.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

Mhlanga was registered by FC Platinum in their Caf Champions League squad with the blessings of Zifa, but Chicken Inn are not giving up the battle just yet and yesterday they wrote to the SRC and also copied the letter to Caf, Zifa, FC Platinum, Angolan side Desportivo de Agosto, registrar of the Labour Court and the Premier Soccer League.

The letter, authored by Chicken Inn secretary Tavengwa Hara, is addressed to SRC acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere.

“The player, who had been improperly approached by FC Platinum early last year, has a contract with our club. He has even taken the contract dispute to court in a bid to have the contract terminated. Zifa curiously cleared the player on December 31, 2017 despite the fact that the dispute had not yet been resolved statutorily through the association’s Player Status Committee,” Hara said.

Hara said according to Zifa and Fifa statutes, the Player Status Committee is the only body mandated to resolve player contract wrangles after receiving complaints from the disgruntled parties, who are then supposed to make submissions before the matter is deliberated on.

“In our case, Zifa claim to have deliberated on the matter and resolved that the player be declared a free agent, a position which the board and the chief executive officer have no mandate to do since this is the prerogative of the Player Status Committee . . . We have also copied Caf and the Angolan club of the current player’s status and the player is not eligible to take part in the Caf competition

. . . Please be advised that despite writing to Zifa advising them of the procedural improprieties relating to the clearance of the player and that they reverse the purported clearance, they have not even bothered to acknowledge receipt of our letter…” Hara added.

Earlier in the week, Chicken Inn wrote to Zifa demanding that Mhlanga’s clearance be reversed having written another letter last month requesting that the player not be registered by any other club for any competition as he had a valid contract with the club and there was a labour case pending in the courts.

Zifa general-secretary Joseph Mamutse had written to Chicken Inn and FC Platinum advising them that Mhlanga’s contract had expired at the GameCocks and he was free to join any club of his choice and the platinum miners have included the defender in their squad for the Caf Champions League.

FC Platinum

kickstart their Caf Champions League campaign against the Angolan side and are in camp in Bulawayo.

The former Warriors defender has been at the centre of a dispute between Chicken Inn and FC Platinum with the former accusing the Zvishavane-based side of using bullying tactics to lure the player to them when he was still on the GameCocks’ books last year.

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