By Ricky Zililo
Zvishavane-based Premiership side FC Platinum have ordered national team defender Lawrence Mhlanga to leave their camp and go back to Chicken Inn to sort out his contractual issue.
Mhlanga signed an undisclosed contract with FC Platinum last Friday after misrepresenting facts to the platinum miners that he was a free agent, when in fact he has a running contract with Chicken Inn.
Chido Chizondo, FC Platinum’s spokesperson told Chronicle Sport yesterday that Mhlanga is no longer training with them.
“Like I said before, FC Platinum enjoys good relations with Chicken Inn and after receiving their letter about the player, we asked Mhlanga to go and sort out his issues with the club. What we’re concentrating on is our pre-season training and nothing more,” said Chizondo.
FC Platinum are assessing six Zambians, defenders Clifford Choonga and Jeff Mulao, attacking midfielders Gerald Sililo and Simon Mulenga, defensive midfielder Sean Zulu and striker Fastus Mooba. Chizondo could not be drawn into commenting whether the platinum miners who are said to be in the hunt for a defender and a striker are going to make a formal request to Chicken Inn for the services of Mhlanga.
Chicken Inn’s secretary-general Tawengwa Hara applauded FC Platinum’s professionalism and said his club will ‘deal’ with Mhlanga.
“As a Chicken Inn player who broke the code of ethics Mhlanga is going to face disciplinary action for his actions. His contract expires in December and I must praise FC Platinum for showing that they’re a professional side by releasing the player back to us. If they (FC Platinum) are interested in the services of the player they can write to us and we consider their offer. As a club we don’t block players who want to move and if everything is done above board we let our players go and pursue their careers elsewhere,” said Hara.
Mhlanga is not new to such controversy having tried to dupe South African First Division side AmaZulu last year when he claimed his contract with Chicken Inn was running out on December 31, 2016.
The South African side contacted Chicken Inn to verify the player’s status and discovered that Mhlanga had a running contract.
The player who was part of the national team which took part at the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon is said to have extended his Chicken Inn contract on March 30, 2016.
In the event that he doesn’t move from Chicken Inn, Mhlanga is expected to form a central defence partnership with either national team’s Teenage Hadebe or Moses Jackson. The Chronicle