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Chakoroma dupes FC Platinum

By Ray Bande

FC Platinum may have to pay the price for their lack of due diligence after the Premiership kings were left needing to alter their Champions League squad after one of their prime targets, Liberty Chakoroma, opted to extend his stay at Ngezi Platinum.

Liberty Chakoroma

The Zvishavane miners had included Chakoroma on their 28-man list that was registered with the Confederation of African Football for this year’s Champions League.

But the 28-year-old midfielder made a U-turn yesterday and decided to continue turning out for Ngezi Platinum after agreeing a fresh deal with the Mhondoro outfit.

The move has also exposed FC Platinum’s lack of experience in dealing with player transfers as the Premiership champions seemed to rely on Chakoroma’s word only as the midfielder made frantic efforts to wriggle himself out of Ngezi despite having a year remaining on his contract.

FC Platinum had been expecting Chakoroma to join their squad for a three-week pre-season training, which started in Bulawayo yesterday.

But the Warriors midfielder was in no show as he remained holed up in Mhondoro, where he was instead agreeing a new deal with Ngezi. Ngezi are understood to have offered Chakoroma an “improved offer” and the former Buffaloes man accepted it.

Until his U-turn, the midfielder had led FC Platinum into believing that he had committed to featuring for them in on the basis that Champions League football offered him a platform to enhance his career.

Somehow, FC Platinum appear to have left it in the player’s hands to secure his exit from Ngezi and join them ahead of their pre-season preparations.

But Chakoroma’s move to FC Platinum hit a snag after their fellow platinum miners insisted that he should finish off the remaining year left on his contract with the Mhondoro outfit.

Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya confirmed yesterday that Chakoroma’s issue had now been finalised and that the tall former Mutare United and Buffaloes midfielder would be part of his team in the 2018 season.

“First, let me clarify that we signed Liberty Chakoroma for two seasons, according to the contract that we have with him. Based on the player’s performance last season, the team and its management feel that they still needed his services.

“We also felt that there would be need to revise his contract hence the decision to improve what was initially offered to him. After all, he had a year left before his contract expired on December 31, 2018. He is our player and he is not going anywhere.

As we speak, we have actually reached an agreement with the player. I was actually talking to him this morning (yesterday), he is here in Mhondoro. We are looking forward to a great season together with him as our player,” said Ndiraya.

Asked about FC Platinum’s interests in the player as well as the player’s desire to move to the Zvishavane-based side, Ndiraya said: “I am told that they (FC Platinum) wrote an official request to have the player, but we rejected it.

There is an improved offer for him. It is also important to note that the improved offer does not only apply to Chakoroma, but a number of other players that include Ticha Mabvura, Qadr Amini, Godknows Murwira, Walter Mkanga and two junior players that recently graduated to the senior team – Tatenda Muchisa and Malvern Kwinjo – among many others who have also had improved offers.”

Early this week, Chakoroma did not travel to Zvishavane to link up with FC Platinum who resumed their off-season preparations and instead made the road trip to Mhondoro for an ill-fated attempt to convince the Ngezi Platinum management to release him.

Chakoroma had initially expressed his intention to leave Ngezi for FC Platinum and claimed he had been inspired by a desire to solely develop his career “and nothing else”.

However, his South Africa-based manager James Lunga expressed dismay over the player’s failed move to FC Platinum. “It is a sad development in the youngster’s career.

He should have been given a chance to play for FC Platinum just for the good of his career. He would have gained more international exposure, but somehow it seems things did not turn out the way we wanted.

It all has to do with the contract that was signed before the start of last season. Judging (by) his age and form, the boy should have signed a one-year contract, but it is unfortunate that I was not in the picture by then.

At the end of the day, life goes on and we just have to plan for the future. We have learnt our lesson,” said Lunga. The Herald

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