By Mukudzei Chingwere
Former champions Chicken Inn have warned that they will be very tough with FC Platinum should the Premiership kings choose to register Lawrence Mhlanga before the dispute over the defender is finalised.
It has emerged that FC Platinum want to register Mhlanga with CAF in time for Sunday’s deadline set by the continental body. But the Gamecocks on their part argue that such a move would require their blessings.
Mhlanga faced a nightmarish 12 months on the sidelines after the two clubs failed to agree on an intended move last season forcing the player to be inactive for the entire 2017 season.
Zimbabwe’s sole representatives in Africa had wanted to include the talented defender in their Champions League squad, with talks to resolve the impasse having been mooted earlier this month.
But so far those talks have failed to materialise. The initial deadline to register players with CAF falls at midnight this Sunday and the platinum miners have to seal all their deals in the next two days.
Although the registration will remain open until January 15, 2018 clubs would have to fork out more money to do so should they miss Sunday’s deadline.
Chicken Inn executive committee member Tawenga Hara yesterday fired warning shots that his side will be “very unpatriotic” if the miners go on to register the player without their consent.
“We were supposed to meet and they did not come citing some commitments at the mine so they will tell us when they are ready. But on our side we have told ZIFA that the player must not be registered, if he is registered then we will have to inform CAF and the opposition teams,” said Hara.
“We will be very unpatriotic when people are not being cooperative, we will inform CAF through ZIFA and we will inform the team they are playing against, that the player has a dispute that is within the courts and (that) no one can raise his hand and say we are registering this player as ours,” warned Hara.
The lack of appetite by the two clubs to resolve the impasse that has halted the promising career of the Warriors defender. It has also raised some questions on the capacity of the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe who have continued to watch from the sidelines while Mhlanga’s career has been thrown into limbo.
FC Platinum however, seems not to be moved by the threats from the Gamecocks and reports from Zvishavane are that they are working on their squad to beat the Champions League squad submission deadline on December 31, which could yet include Mhlanga.
FC Platinum have already confirmed the capture of Jameson Mukombwe on loan from Black Rhinos with Never Tigere also on the road to Zvishavane.
Player intermediary Gibson Mahachi yesterday confirmed the former ZPC Kariba man Tigere’s switch to the Midlands while Liberty Chakoroma, Rahman Kutsanzira, Kelvin Madzongwe are also likely to feature on the Champions League squad.
“Never is now an FC Platinum player he completed his move and his contract will start from January 1,” said Mahachi.
Three foreign forwards — Zambian Shadreck Mayembe, Ghanaian Ibrahim Dauda and Cameroon’s Albert Eonde — have charmed the miners and are now set to be signed by FC Platinum.
Their arrival is likely to end Takesure Chinyama’s stay at the club whose stint failed to add the cutting edge to the miners’ attack. The Herald